PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — A Placerville couple is upset saying someone shot their rescue dog dead.

The couple wants justice, but they don’t know if they’ll get it.

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“We tried to give him the best we possibly could. We tried,” Linnea Uggla said.

Linnea can’t look at pictures of Red without bursting into tears. Her husband, Randy, still carries his collar.

“I just take it everywhere,” Randy said.

The couple has four rescue dogs. They adopted Red — an 8-month-old husky — in August 2020. The abuse Red endured was so egregious, he needed a $7,000 surgery to repair a ruptured eardrum.

Linnea had just removed Red’s post-surgery cone when he escaped from the family’s backyard on Sunday.

“I feel like if I had left it on, he might not have been shot,” Linnea said.

The couple searched everywhere. The pain of not finding him quickly gave way to panic after hearing two terrifying and distinctive sounds.

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“Pow. And then 30 seconds later, pow agian,” Randy said, imitating gunshots.

And then that was it. Red was discovered a day later shot dead in a ditch less than a mile from their home.

We wanted to know: is it legal to shoot an animal running loose? 

In California, it’s illegal to “maliciously and intentionally…kill an animal.” The penalty is “up to 3 years in jail or prison.”

The only time it’s considered legal is if the animal is on your property, and is “dangerous to life, limb or property”

Randy and Linnea say Red has no history of aggression. They want justice and say that starts with an investigation.

“It scares the hell out of me that we have a neighbor that if the dogs are out, [they’re] just going to kill them,” Linnea said.

The couple filed a complaint with animal control.

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We asked El Dorado County repeatedly if that agency, or the sheriff’s department, is investigating. Neither got back to us, but we continue pressing for answers.