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Indiana Family's Dog Killed In Animal Trap

HEBRON, Ind. (CBS) -- A disturbing discovery was made in Hebron, Ind., this week, when a family dog set outside on a chain was later found dead, caught in an animal trap police said was apparently set intentionally.

"Every time she comes upon a person, she tries to kiss them," Cheryl Alt said of her dog, Pearl.

CBS 2's Pamela Jones reports Alt has been left wondering whether Pearl gave that same loving greeting to the person who would lure her to her death.

Pearl was left struggling with her head pinched in the jaws of an animal trap on Saturday.

"She was in the neighbor's yard, rolling around in a macabre kind of odd way," Alt said.

She said she put Pearl outside on a chain that was strung around a cherry tree in her backyard at around 10 a.m. Saturday.

An hour or so later, she found her pet caught in a trap, bleeding from the mouth.

"I can't get the image out of my head," she said. "People comfort me, and they comfort the kids, but every time they mention it, that image comes back into my head, and I just wish I could have stopped that dog's pain."

Police said Pearl's death was no accident.

"A trap like that, you'd have to put some kind of bait on it to get the animal to come to it," said Hebron Police Officer Casey Robinson. "Whoever set the trap out had to have baited it, and more than likely unchained the dog so that when it did snap on its head, it took off running."

Alt said, "They said the dog suffocated, so it couldn't have taken that long. And when I found the dog, she was still alive."

Friends of the Alt family, who came to help, said they can't believe this crime.

"We were all kind of shocked, and she's still upset with it," said April Wierzbicki.

Wednesday night, Pearl's owners were trying to focus on her life, but they also want to find whoever took Pearl's life.

"Someone at work told me to pray for this person, and that is the best advice I've had, because that's going to heal me," Alt said.

Whoever set the trap for the dog could face animal cruelty charges.

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