THOMASTON — Peppermint, a lively Border Collie who appreciated a good hike, was killed suddenly, in the morning on Oct. 31, by an arrow to her chest. She had been walking with friends near the Thomaston Dog Park on trails beside the park that wind into town-owned woods.
Her owners, Amy and Ed Joy, are devastated, and they want to know how this could have happened. They want justice for Peppermint, who was 5 and half years old, and a rescue dog from Arkansas.
"It could have been an accident," Amy Joy, allows, as a slight possibility. It is hunting season in Maine, and Thomaston sits in Wildlife Zone 25, along with much of the Midcoast.
The town-owned stretch of woods has trails running through it, and people, with or without dogs, often walk there. It is also open to hunting and this time of year, hunters are actively tracking deer, and using guns or bows and arrows to kill them.
Still, Thomaston Police Officer Tom Hoepner, along with Chief Tim Hoppe, and Maine Game Warden Mark Merrifield are scrutinizing what happened on Halloween morning. They were in the woods this morning, Nov. 1, investigating the scene where Peppermint was found, which was approximately two-tenths of a mile, in a northeast direction from the dog park (See map).
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” said Hoppe.
He reminds the public to wear blaze orange while outside walking, and to put orange collar or vest on dogs, as well.
"This appears to more likely be a deliberately cruel act," Amy Joy said. "We can't get her back but I want to see justice done and find this person if possible. This is a trail close to the dog park. There are people up and down these trails. It could have been a person shot."
Joy said that Peppermint had gone out that morning with her friend, who would take Peppermint, along with her own dog, several times a week for a walk.
“They were down near the Dog Park in Thomaston, between 9 and 10:30 a.m.,” said Joy. “They ware walking the trails right beside the dog park that go back into the woods. The dogs run back and forth on the trails. Her dog came back to her, and was whimpering. She called and called for Peppermint and she did not come back. They kept walking, looking for her and came up to Peppermint under a tree. She had been shot by what looks like a arrow. There are entrance and exit wounds on her chest, from one side clean through to the other.”
Joy’s friend called her from the trail, and was so broken up she could barely speak. The dogs were not that much ahead of Joy’s friend, and she never heard a gun shot
“Her husband came down to the dog park and trails and carried Peppermint back to the car,” said Joy.
“When they got back to our house in Warren, we called the Thomaston police and we all went back to the trail by the Dog Park and retraced her steps with the officer,” said Joy.
Her friend had marked the spot where she found Peppermint.
“We found no signs whatsoever of arrow, blood, or a tree stand,” said Joy.
Animal Control Officer William Demmons went to the Joy house in Warren to see Peppermint, as well as Officer Tom Hoepner. The Joys then took Peppermint to All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Rockport to determine the cause of death.
The Joys are offering a $500 reward for information about who shot Peppermint.
“She was the sweetest dog, loved to play, loved doing agility, got along with many people and dogs alike,” said Joy. “She was also the most faithful friend, and she was my best therapy.”
Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at email@example.com; 207-706-6657