DAVIE, Fla. – U.S. Army Master Sgt. Daniel Perez, a reservist and an employee of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, is grieving. He is asking the public for help with finding the gunman who shot and killed his therapy dog on Friday in Broward County.
Perez has served in the Army for 27 years. Seven years ago, after returning from a deployment, he was struggling and having trouble speaking about it. Perez said he adopted Matilda during a veterans’ pet adoption event.
“Every time I was down or depressed she would put her paws, like forcing me to pet her, and by doing that I never thought about it,” Perez said.
The last time he saw Matilda was while dropping her off at an animal clinic in Davie. His friend at the clinic allowed him to place her in a locked kennel at about 6 a.m. and the staff at the clinic would bring her inside at about 7 a.m. Instead, they found Matilda dead.
“Very lovely dog, a family dog, she loved my kids. My youngest son was very affected. He used to play with her and sleep with her. Not aggressive at all. She loved kids, and loved other animals. It’s not fair,” Perez said.
The surveillance video shows her killer.
“He took pictures, video, started teasing the dog by kicking the fence, then shot her three times,” Perez said adding, “I might understand if she just jumped the fence and attacked somebody, maybe jumped the fence and crossed the street and somebody hit her with the car. I understand that, but not this. She could not defend herself.”
Perez said he has regret. He had considered taking her to work with him that day, but he decided at the last minute to drop her off.
“I just want the guy to be caught and pay for it.”
Davie Police Department detectives are asking anyone with information about Matilde’s killer to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954- 493-8477 and the Davie Police Department at 954-693-8200.