UPDATE: Family discovers missing dog dead with head slashed

Idaho Falls

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Maverick the German shepherd was reported missing from his home Monday. | Courtesy Stephanie Cooper


A dog that was reported missing early Monday morning was discovered dead at the end of its owner’s driveway.

Maverick, a 2-year-old German shepherd, was found less than an hour after EastIdahoNews.com posted a story about his disappearance. Stephanie Cooper, Maverick’s owner, says the dog had at least one deep slash wound on his head that appeared to have come from a shovel.

“It was deliberate. Whoever did this, it was deliberate,” Cooper told EastIdahoNews.com through tears.

Cooper has been in and out of her driveway a few times Monday and says the dog was not there.

Bonneville County Sheriff deputies were on their way to Cooper’s home Monday afternoon after the dog was found.

EastIdahoNews.com will post updates on this story as we receive them.


BONNEVILLE COUNTY — A local family is pleading for the safe return of their 2-year-old German shepherd as they say someone snatched him from their driveway.

Maverick was stolen around 6 a.m. Monday from his home near West 81st Street and Yellowstone Highway. Stephanie Cooper says she lets her dogs out early every morning and watches until they come back inside. Cooper says while standing on the front porch Monday, she saw headlights on their quarter-mile-long driveway.

“The vehicle was leaving and I started whistling for the dogs to come back in,” Cooper tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Her other dogs came back inside, but Maverick was missing. Cooper says she walked down the driveway, spotting tracks in the snow from the dogs all the way up to where she noticed tire tracks in the snow.

She says she knows someone had to have taken Maverick from her property but because it was dark outside, Cooper was unable to make out what kind of vehicle was in the driveway.

Bonnville County Sheriff deputies responded to the Coopers and are investigating the theft, according to Sgt. Bryan Lovell.

What makes Maverick’s disappearance more upsetting to the Coopers is that it’s not the first time someone has stolen one of their dogs. In August, Cooper says their 3-year-old German shepherd, Kira, was let out to relieve herself on the 32-acre property. Ten minutes later, she was gone.

Cooper suspects Kira was taken because three of her neighbors reported their dogs missing over that same weekend.

A flier distributed for the first German shepherd the family believes was taken from their property | Courtesy Stephanie Cooper

“My kids are devastated,” Cooper says.

No one saw Kira being taken from the Coopers’ property in August, so police couldn’t list the dog as stolen. The family still went to work looking for their pet and posted a large sign at the end of the driveway along with distributing more than 700 fliers about the missing animal.

A Facebook page has been created to alert the public about their missing dogs.

Cooper says the person who took the dog would have to know she takes her animals out every morning around 6 a.m. She says not just anyone would enter her long driveway with the purpose of taking a dog without knowing ahead of time what they wanted.

Cooper says her family will pay a cash reward to whomever returns Maverick safely home.