Owner of killed service dog offers reward for information

ELKTON, Md. - Every day, Kelly Leister drives down Rt. 213 in Elkton to get to work. And every time now, she thinks of her dog, Quinn.

“It's my work and my dog. Everything I do, every weekend is revolved around can my dog come?,” Leister said.

Sadly, it was after work one week ago that Leister lost Quinn forever.

“I came home at 11 p.m. I went in, got my pajamas on, Quinnie wanted to play, I was like alright, let's go play with the ball,” she said.

At around midnight on May 30, Leister and Quinn crossed the street to retrieve the ball when a car sped by them.

“Then all of a sudden, this car that had been double parked went right through the stop sign, sped right through it at around 40 miles per hour. I said ‘slow down,’ and as soon as I said slow down, he hit his brakes, backed up to the other side where I was with my dog and sat there vrooming his engine,” Leister said.

She remembers being frightened. She grabbed Quinn by the collar and went to cross the street again.

“And as soon as I cleared the car, I had him by the collar, the man hit the gas and took off with Quinn. Yanked his collar out of my hand, and just took off driving full speed and I'm screaming ‘you've got my dog, you've got my dog,’” Leister said.

The driver fled the Walnut Hill development on Katie Lane and turned southbound on Rt. 213, dragging Quinn along the way.

Quinn was found in the street, 400 feet from where the car hit him. The driver disappeared only leaving behind tire tracks.

“We're asking for the community's help. Someone in Walnut Hill is associated with this individual, someone on Mike Dr. knows this person and we're asking them to come forward,” said 1st Sgt. Andrew Tuer with the Elkton Police Department.

Quinn would've been two this month, he was also a service dog.

“The victim would take the dog to local hospitals to see military veterans. It's just a complete shame, it was an act of cowardice,” Tuer said.

Leister, who works at a VFW post, would also collect donations for local shelters.

“That's my passion in life, is animals, and to have my best friend taken, so brutally, it was so brutal, it was just so brutal,” she said.

The car is described as a dark-colored vehicle, black or midnight blue with a box style shape. It was in the area of of the 200 block of Mike Lane in Elkton on May 30 at around midnight.

There's a $500 dollar reward for anyone with information that leads to the identity of the driver. Leister said tips can completely anonymous. The tip line number is 443-907-8451.

"I want him caught, but in the meantime I want the town to step-up and put some speed bumps in maybe make a 4-way stop, trim the trees so it's lighter or put in an extra streetlight, something," Leister said.

The driver could face animal cruelty and reckless endangerment charges. Police have been checking with homes and businesses for any surveillance footage that can help identify the perpetrator.

Anyone with information is also urged to contact Officer First Class Michael Walczak at 410-398-4200 or First Sergeant Andrew Tuer at 410-398-4200 extension 35.

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