Sumo’s owner: He was shot with the intent to kill

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Sumo, an 8-year old blue doberman was found dead on April 12, less than 200 yards away from his home in Dededo. (PNC photo)

“Hoping for the best, Silva and his family turned to social media to get the word out that Sumo was missing. It worked but the outcome was not what the family was expecting.”

Guam – When it comes to owning a pet, it is not unusual for them to sometimes run off or sneak out of the yard, but for one Dededo family, when their pet Sumo wandered away from home, it was a death sentence.

“Sumo” was a gentle and loving 8-year old blue Doberman who lived with his human family near Alageta street in Dededo. Sumo lived half his life indoors and the other half running in the gated yard of his home. This was the first time Sumo was able to get out of his family’s yard

Sumo’s owner, Dave Silva, said, “When we noticed he was lost around lunch time, we began searching the village. We drove up and down every street in Macheche and to no avail.”

Hoping for the best, Silva and his family turned to social media to get the word out that Sumo was missing. It worked but the outcome was not what the family was expecting.

“At around 8 at night, I was having dinner and got a call from somebody and he asked if we were missing a dog. He knew where the dog was. We went to find him. He was 200 yards away from my house,” Silva said.

Sumo was found dead with a single gun shot wound. Silva took Sumo to Animal Medical Clinic where it was determined that Sumo was shot at close range. The entry wound was small and smooth while the exit wound was slightly bigger.

“In his opinion, it was not a defensive shot. So if the dog was attacking somebody, he would expect the gunshot to be on the top of the dog not on the side. He said that whoever shot this dog, shot him from the side. Whoever shot him, knew where to shoot an animal because the heart was in the path where the bullet went. So he was shot with the intent to kill,” Silva said.

According to Silva, Sumo died within 150 yards of where he was shot

“This is the first time in his life that he ever got out of the yard and roamed. Unfortunately, it was a death sentence. We can’t imagine why if he was roaming the village why someone would shoot him,” Silva said.

What is even more unsettling for Sumo’s family is the recent decision by Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo to dismiss charges of animal cruelty against a man who shot several neighborhood pets in Yigo arguing that the case failed to establish intentional acts of cruelty.

“I hope that we find the person that did this to my dog. I have put a large reward out for their arrest and conviction. I hope we can get someone who saw or heard something that can help us find this person,” he said.

“I think it would be a travesty of justice for them to determine that the dog didn’t die inhumanely or cruelly. One second, he was alive and the next second he is dead. I mean, what difference does it make whether he died in a humane manner? He’s dead,” he added.

According to Silva, his wife and daughter are completely distraught. “We lost a true member of our family so somebody’s opinion about whether or not a dog died humanely is just their opinion. They don’t know what the dog went through and they certainly don’t know what we’re going through,” he said.

Silva said, “He was a gentle old dog, just trying to find his way home. He was so close to home. He almost made it back.”

Sumo’s owner is offering a $5,000 reward for information that could lead to  the arrest and conviction of the individual/s responsible for his death. If you have any information on this crime, please call: Guam Crime Stoppers at 477-4357; Dededo Precinct at 632-9808; or Dave Silva at 777-2668

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.