ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. — It was a horrible case that shocked so many people and made national headlines.
Two years ago, a 57-year-old St. Francois County man reportedly admitted to shooting his neighbor's dog in the neck and beating him on his head with a hammer because "Trooper" got onto this property.
"It didn't give him the right to treat the dog that way," said Sheri Hudall, who lives in nearby Fredericktown.
Weeks later, a passer-by found a bleeding, paralyzed Trooper in a ditch, barely alive. The dog was covered in feces and urine that burned his flesh.
Veterinarians and members of the non-profit group Missouri K9 Friends feared Trooper would die.
However, he lived up to his name. Indeed, he was a trooper.
The lab-mix underwent extensive hydrotherapy in Ballwin. He also received acupuncture and laser therapy in Town & Country.
On Tuesday, there was a big development in the disturbing case. A second-degree animal abuse charge filed against the suspect was dismissed.
Sheri Hudall and her coworkers at Senior Thrift Store in Fredericktown were stunned.
"Definitely not right. He shouldn't be getting off scot-free. He should do community service. You know, pay for something," said Hudall. "It's not fair to Trooper. He was a dog. He was running on [the man's] property. He didn't deserve what happened to him."
Three-year-old Trooper now walks with a limp.
The happy hound is enjoying his new home with his forever family.
"Trooper's a trooper, and I'm hoping he's with a family that has kids that can love on him," Hudall said.
When 5 On Your Side asked Madison County Prosecutor Dwight Robbins why the animal abuse charge against the suspect was dropped, Robbins said he never comments on active cases.