UPSALA, Minn. (KMSP) - A dog owner in rural Morrison County, Minnesota is devastated his service dog was gunned down after getting loose.
"She wasn't a dog,” said Denny Junes. “She was my friend. It's tough, hard."
Denny Junes is lost without his beloved service dog Jemma.
The pair was inseparable. Junes suffers from multiple sclerosis and a rare chronic pain disease known as EM or Man on Fire Syndrome. His legs feel like they are always burning. Jemma was trained to always be there to comfort.
"She did everything with me,” said Denny. “Fish. Drive. She laid with me. Everybody knew that."
Tragically Denny and his wife, Amy, lost Jemma last week. The pure Siberian husky escaped the couple's rural home in Upsala, Minnesota. They frantically searched for a day and a half before getting word that an area farmer had shot and killed the dog allegedly to protect his chickens.
The Junes' would learn that the farmer buried the five-year-old dog on his property after confronting him about what happened.
"I just said I need to bring her home,” said Amy. “I need her. He said, ‘I will get her collar.’ I said, ‘No, she's not staying at your house. Where is she? I will dig her up.’"
The couple eventually brought Jemma home to a gravesite on their property.
Friends are sending them gifts in recent days to help them cherish an animal that was so much more than a family pet. This weekend, Jemma will be remembered at a special gathering of husky owners in Upsala that had previously been scheduled.
"Everything was perfect about her,” said Denny. She did everything right, hard to explain. She was the whole package, really was."
The Junes' say the farmer was super remorseful and they aren't pursuing any legal action against him.