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GRANT, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Newaygo County family is offering a reward after their dog was found shot to death on the opening day of deer hunting season.

"She's a great family dog, great with kids and very friendly," said Morghan Nelson, who can't understand why anyone would harm her one-year-old German shepherd named Vera. Morghan shows WZZM 13 a video of the dog playing gently with her two-year-old son.

The Nelson family lives on a large piece of property near Grant. They have two other dogs and one of them is Vera's mother. "It was a little after 5 p.m., I let them out to go to the bathroom real fast," recalled Morghan. "I heard a couple of gunshots in back, but I was assuming it was deer."

When the dogs were called back in, Vera didn't come back. They looked for her that night, but couldn't find her. The next day Morghan and a few neighbors went out again. They found Vera in a creek, not far from the Nelson's home. "They pulled her out and said she had been shot, took her collar, and left her there."

Morghan doesn't think it was an accident. She thinks someone was annoyed that the dog was scaring away deer-- even though hunting isn't allowed on or near their property. "I understand them being annoyed, but don't shoot someone's pet."

The Nelsons called police, who took pictures and talked to neighbors. As the investigation continues, Morghan is offering a $500 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in Vera's death. "She slept with me in my bed. She loved popcorn, she was a big part of our family."

The Michigan State Police are investigating. If you have any information, you can call the Hart Post at (231) 873-2171.