Nebraska family left heartbroken after family dog is shot

Posted by: Kelsey Murphy

The old saying is true. A dog really can be a mans best friend.

Just ask Luke Ropte.

"He was pretty close to me, you talk to him like a human being, he does not talk back but he knows when you are upset. He knows when you are happy, he could feel that,” says Luke Ropte, Owner.

Copper, his nine year old Vizsla meant everything to Ropte and his family.

He was a playmate with the kids even a pillow to nap on. More than a pet, he was a member of their family.

"Just a really good dog," says Ropte.

Saturday night, Copper passed away, less than a week after being shot by a pellet.

"He does not go check the windows to see who is here, he does not bark, the dog dish is not where it’s supposed to be at and his pillow, just he is not there anymore and its just a weird feeling,” says Ropte.

Last Wednesday Ropte and his son took Copper to a near by school football field.

It was there where the dog ran into 56 year old Gary Furtwangler’s yard where the man shot the animal.

Furtwangler was later taken to jail for animal cruelty. He took Copper from those who loved him most, Ropte’s children.

"My granddaughter was shaking and bawling, my grandson was shaking in the front seat, and over a dog, but you know that dog had their heart," says Robert Doetker, grandfather.

Despite his loss, Ropte finds inspiration in tragedy. He hopes to open a dog park in Waverly where dogs can run freely, without concern.

"A place where dogs aren’t bothered by other people, because there is always going to be that guy out there who does not want to deal with dogs in their area,” says Ropte.

He says it would be the first of its kind in Waverly.

A special funding group called Sadie Dog Fund is raising money to help pay veterinarian expenses for the family. You can visit the site, and see Copper’s story here.