WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN/WECT) — A North Carolina man is seeking justice after he found his dog brutally killed — all of the dog’s legs were bound, his mouth was taped shut and he was shot six times.
Benjamin Hinson lost his best friend — a 7 year old dog named Pepper — just last week. Hinson, age 44, rescued the long-hair Dashund-Pomeranian mix several years back.
“Pepper was like a child to me.. he was a rescue… I say that, but it’s more like he rescued me,” Hinson of Columbus County told WNCN.
Hinson, a former Whiteville Police Officer, says someone tortured and then shot and killed Pepper, and he wants that person to be brought to justice.
“This is absolutely one of the worst things to happen to me in my life,” said Hinson, who is offering a $2,000 reward in the case.
Pepper was a large part of his family, and he feels that the killing of his dog was senseless, he told WECT-TV.
“This cowardly, despicable, worthless ‘person’ took my dog’s collar off, taped his mouth shut, bound his front and rear legs before shooting him behind the head six times,” Hinson said in a Facebook post in which he offered the reward.
Now he is working with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and asking the community to speak up.
“Please help me get justice for the best friend I have ever had,” Hinson said.
Hinson lives on a 10-acre tract and normally never lets Pepper out of his sight. But the night of Dec. 19 Pepper was let out and the dog apparently wandered off Hinson’s property — but not far.
Hinson said he went searching for Pepper that night and was out late looking for his dog. He later heard several gunshots around 10:30 p.m.
“I am actually almost positive I heard the shots that killed my dog — less than 300 yards from my house,” he said.
Hinson looked for Pepper for days — walking along roadsides and in looking ditches — and finally found him on Tuesday.
Pepper had been tossed into a ditch cross from Adam Smith’s mobile home near 743 Walter Todd Road, Hinson said.
Hinson said that he believed all of his neighbors in the Sidney-Iron Hill-Mollie community knew Pepper was his dog. Hinson has lived in the area for his adult life.
“It shocked me that anyone in the neighborhood would do that,” Hinson said. “Everybody in the neighborhood knew whose dog he was — or at least I thought they did. Nobody ever had a problem with him before.”
A Facebook post with information and details about Pepper’s death is already gaining attention, and Hinson’s hope is that someone will come forward soon.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Department is investigating this crime which is a felony in this state. If you know anything about Pepper’s death, call the sheriff’s department at (910) 642-6551.
— WECT-TV contributed to this report