Durand (WQOW) -- A local family was grieving the loss of their beloved springer spaniel, only to find out a few days later the shocking details of her death. Now, authorities and the DNR are involved.
On November 30, the Brunner family's dog, Lady, ran off after running the trails with one of her owners.
"She always came home. She always circled in the woods and she always met back up with us. But I noticed something was wrong. I came home and only one dog came home," said Candice Broker.
Hours spent searching for Lady turned into days, with the help of one of their other springers, Spot.
"That's when Spot indicated to me that he had found a little den...on the top of the hill in a remote area," said Lady's owner, Ron Brunner. "That's when I asked him 'is Lady in there?' That's when he whimpered and cried."
However, Lady was nowhere to be found.
Hoping for answers, the couple set up a camera. It captured pictures of a raccoon, but no large wildlife that would explain Lady's disappearance. Ron and Candice could not shake the feeling that Spot was right, so they kept going back to that den in the hill with Spot.
"So we tested him (Spot) with different words," said Brunner. "But as soon as I said 'Lady', he bolted right back to that and looked in again and started whimpering again."
"That's when I looked down in there and found her," said Broker.
Only parts of Lady were found: her head and front two quarters.
After the discovery, the owners gave Lady a proper burial. But a nagging feeling kept Brunner up at night. So with the help of the DNR, he dug up Lady's remains.
"A specialist came out and he did an autopsy on the dog," said Brunner. "We looked at the vertebrae and it was a clean cut from a band saw. So that took me a couple of days to realize that somebody would do this to a dog, and that's how we lost our Lady,"
Brunner is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person responsible. News 18 spoke with the Pepin County Sheriff's Office Friday, and they did confirm they are investigating the case. News 18 was provided photographs of Lady's remains, but they are too graphic to publish.