EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 20, 2013

Beloved family pet fatally shot in residential area

Owners, police looking for shooter

By Alex Lippa

---- — PLAISTOW — Jaycee, a 9-year-old German shepherd mix loved to play in the woods behind her owner’s garage. But she always came back.

Tuesday afternoon, she didn’t.

Jaycee was found near the train tracks behind USA 1 Motors, shot to death.

Maureen Mahoney had let her dog out as she always did while she worked in her ex-husband’s garage.

When Jaycee didn’t return, Mahoney, ex-husband Joey Curto and son Joey all set out to search for the beloved family pet.

Twenty minutes later, they discovered a horrific scene — Jaycee lying still near the train tracks on Westville Road.

“We found her motionless near the train tracks,” said Mahoney, a Revere resident. “I think she was dead when we arrived.”

Jaycee had been fatally shot by a single bullet to one of her hind legs.

“We have no idea why anyone would do this,” Mahoney said. “We never heard anything.”

Mahoney often works in the office at her former spouse’s business, she said, and Jaycee always went with her.

“She’s just a sweetheart,” she said. “She would love to go out and play by the woods outside. But she always came back.”

Mahoney said they noticed Jaycee was missing around 1 p.m. They searched the area, including the nearby woods where Jaycee loved to play.

They would never see their longtime company alive again.

“We didn’t know what had happened,” Mahoney said. “My son had tried to give her mouth to mouth to try to regain consciousness. But then we noticed that her belly was very jiggly. Then we saw the bullet hole in the back of her leg.”

They immediately called police, who canvassed the area.

So far, police haven’t identified a suspect or a motive.

“We are working on some leads right now,” Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones said, “but nothing that I’m at liberty to discuss.”

Hunting is not allowed in the area where Jaycee was found.

“State statute does not allow hunting within 300 feet of a dwelling,” Jones said.

Jaycee was found within 20 feet of an open garage, she said.

The area around the garage is residential, with condominiums nearby.

The dog apparently had tried to get back to her family, but died before she made it.

“She was shot from behind, so she was leaving wherever she was coming from,” Mahoney said. “She would never bother anyone. I don’t know how this could happen.”

While Mahoney said the bullet that killed her pet appeared to be of a larger size, Jones said the type of gun involved is part of the ongoing investigation.

Jaycee’s death has left a big hole in Mahoney’s family, including in the hearts of her children and grandchildren.

“We have a huge family with a lot of little kids in it and they loved playing with her,” Mahoney said. “She was always right by everyone’s side. We are devastated.”

Yesterday, Mahoney and friend Elayne Tulliani distributed fliers and posted the story on social media to see if anyone knew anything about what had happened. Tulliani set up the Facebook page “Justice for Jaycee” in an attempt to gather more information.

“We are just trying to get this out to as many people as we can,” Tulliani said. “We feel someone is going to know who did it.”

Jones said Jaycee was not considered a nuisance and police had not received any complaints about her.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Dorothy McGurren at 382-1200 or by email to dmcgurren@plaistow.com.