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Berkshire County family mourns shooting of pet

PERU, Mass. (AP) -- Police in the Berkshire County town of Peru are investigating the shooting death of a local family's beloved dog.

Linda Murphy says the family's 10-month-old Great Pyrenees dog Hercules ran away from their home on Dec. 22.

When he returned the next day, he had been shot in the mouth and tongue and was struggling to breathe.

A vet said they could either put Hercules down, or risk the long drive to Boston, a trip he was unlikely to survive. Hercules was buried on Christmas Eve.

Murphy tells the Berkshire Eagle that she and her husband and their daughters ages 1 and 3 are heartbroken.

They want to know what happened and find the person responsible before another dog is shot, or even a hunter or hiker.