By Adam Strunk
Matt Powers of rural Harvey County wants whomever killed Capper to understand exactly what they did when they pulled the trigger and shot his 11-year-old Jack Russel Terrier .
“In all, it means he shot a child; he shot a brother,” he said. “He was my little partner—fishing, hunting and riding. He was just a special little guy.”
Powers first worried something was wrong when Capper didn’t come home for dinner on Sept. 11 at Powers’s home in rural Harvey County on East Lake Road.
“My dog has always come home at the same time,” he said. “They’re always here. They return for dinner each night.”
Powers said all his neighbors in the area look out for each others dogs. He was hoping a neighbor would call and say they had him. That wasn’t the case, as Powers ended his search 50 yards south of his own driveway.
“I took off walking and found him 50 feet from the road in the middle of the field,” Powers said.
The dog had an entry wound near his buttocks and an exit wound in his chest, indicating what Powers believes was a flat shot with a rifle.
“I thought god dang he suffered,” he said. “The dog is gone. He’s been a great dog. He was spoiled and loved. Now it’s time to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Powers is now offering a $500 reward for information on whomever shot Capper. He said he doesn’t want revenge. He doesn’t want them to go to jail. He just wants to look that person in the eye.
“If I can talk to this person, it’s not about punishing,” he said. “I just want them to understand what this does to people. He didn’t just shoot my dog; he shot my family.”
Powers said he adopted Capper as a rescue. He described the dog as bright and personal. The dog would ride along with him on his Harley Davidson or come out on his boat during fishing trips.
He was also the favorite of Powers’s nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
“To watch them deal with this, it was about as hard,” he said.
The death has also taken a toll on his other two dogs.
“They’re still hunting for him,” he said. “One sits on the grave. It’s sad, dude. The other just runs around. They were really close.”
Powers said he also wants to know why someone would shoot the dog.
“That’s what weirds me out,” he said. “He wasn’t doing anyone harm. He thought he could be friends with skunks. That’s who he was”
Powers said his best theory was that the crime may have corresponded with the start of dove season at the beginning of September.
“I’ve heard of it happening here before,” he said. “Now we have public hunting grounds. It makes me wonder.”
He said he hopes the person that did it was just a kid making bad decisions, not someone who got a thrill from killing animals. He said he understands people make bad decisions. He just wanted to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
He said he hasn’t filed a legal report because he doesn’t want to prevent anyone from coming forward due to possible jail time.
“I want them to know this isn’t going to be you’re going to jail,” he said. “This is me and you going to talk. It didn’t just affect me; it affects everyone you do this to.”
And if Powers never finds out who killed Capper, he hopes they’ll read about the dog he was.
“If you can understand this and get it and pass it on, maybe you’ll learn something from all this,” he said.
“If they could understand shooting dogs or shooting cats, if you don’t have a reason, don’t do it,” he said.
Powers’s number is 316-288-0880.