Neighbor shoots and kills beloved nursing home therapy dog, sheriff’s response infuriates hundreds
Topeka, KS — A big black dog named Marley was well known at a Topeka nursing home, but Marley was shot and killed Friday reportedly by her owner’s neighbor and friends want the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office to take action.
“Marley will come up and she gives hugs, its her favorite thing to do,” said Jackie.
Jackie Hollis’ dog, Marley, is very popular around Legacy nursing home.
“She comes here everyday and wants to play with the residents. She will let them grab her face and kiss on her,” says Hollis.
Hollis says the 10-month-old Presa Carnaio is training to be a therapy dog and helps residents like drummer, Sam Schlup.
“She helped me through a really rough time just being there for me,” says Schlup.
Friday night, Hollis says Marley ran out to her neighbor’s chicken coop while she was away from home. She says the neighbor called animal control but then…
“And he claims that Marley charged him,” says Hollis.
That’s when she says the neighbor shot and killed the 90 pound dog. Hollis said she talked to a Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy.
“And he said that she hit the ground and he went and put 2 more bullets in her head. I buried her that night and I made sure he could see me do it,” says Hollis.
Hollis buried Marley in the front yard of her Tecumseh home. She says the neighbor who shot Marley is David Spies. 13 News knocked on his door and called several times–Spies has not responded.
Now, Schlup, Hollis and other Legacy nursing home residents are without a best friend. Sam wears a red bandanna in Marley’s memory.
“I wear one just like it. She had it on when she was shot 3 times,” said Schlup.
“Sam was here dying and Marley has been his friend, the whole time, she comes everyday, and he has nobody. Marley was the only thing he had and he said it was the one thing that made it feel like home here, is that we let animals come here and yeah I don’t know. I just hate that he took that from me. You don’t meet that many dogs that make an impact on a lot of peoples lives like she did,” cries Hollis.
13 News received a press release late Monday afternoon from Shawnee County Sheriffs Office that says Animal Control learned that Marley killed livestock and charged the livestock owner when he attempted to stop the attack.
Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Shane Hoobler says the case is still under investigation. However, he did tell 13 News it is not illegal to kill a dog if it is on your property–according to a Kansas statue if the dog is injuring or attempting to injure livestock.
Hollis’ friend has started an online petition called Justice for Marley and so far it has received more than 1,200 signatures.