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Police searching for person who shot and killed New Castle puppy

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NEW CASTLE, Ind. – A heartbroken teenager wants to know who shot and killed her puppy and why. On Sunday evening, 17-year-old Alexa Hughes let her puppy out in the backyard of her New Castle home. When Hughes realized Riley wandered off, she went throughout the neighborhood looking for her.

“I heard three gunshots or three popping sounds, (it) sounded like firecrackers almost and it scared me, so I went around that way and I saw her yelping in the field a few houses back,” said Hughes.

Riley, just eight months old, had a bullet hole in her back and was bleeding.

“Before I even picked her up, I looked around to see if there was anyone around that could possibly shoot her and I looked at the house that was right there and I didn’t see anyone,” said Hughes.

Hughes’ family rushed the Corgi puppy to the vet, but Riley died on the way. The field where Riley was shot isn’t far from Hughes’ home.

“It’s just really scary because there are other dogs and we have another dog and we’re scared for him to be shot too and there’s kids that play around this neighborhood and we thought this was a safe neighborhood but it’s apparently not,” said Hughes.

A police report has been filed and detectives asked neighbors if they knew anything about the shooting.

“If this was just an act of cruelty that individual needs to know that’s against the law and we won’t tolerate it,” said Henry County Sheriff Rick McCorkle.

Hughes had Riley since the day she was born. Now, the teenager only has memories of her puppy.

“She was very energetic and loved to play. She was really loving and I cuddled her every day,” said Hughes. “I just want to know why? Why did they do it? Because she wouldn’t hurt anyone."

The family is offering a cash reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. Hughes wants the person who shot killed Riley to be punished.

“She didn’t deserve it. Who would shoot a little puppy who’s harmless?” asked Hughes.

If the suspect is found and convicted, he or she could face felony animal cruelty charges.