Hannah Westmoreland is a diabetic Texas teen whose community raised $10,000 to buy her a diabetic alert dog named Journey. Four years later, Journey the service dog was found fatally shot in front of the family’s home.
Journey was found with a gunshot wound in front of Hannah Westmoreland’s Quinlan home on Sunday, The Dallas Morning News reports. Hannah’s mother Tina said she let the dog out to play Sunday morning and found him motionless after going to check on him after breakfast.
Journey was rushed to a vet but died from his injuries during surgery.
It is unclear who shot Journey or why. The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Community Raised $10,000 to Buy Hannah Westmoreland a Service Dog Named Journey
Hannah Westmoreland is a 15-year-old Quinlan girl who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 8 years old, Fox 4 reported.
Amid all of the insulin tests and needle pokes, Hannah and her mother Tina coined a phrase “find joy in the journey.”
By the time Hannah was 12, she met Journey the service dog, thanks to her community in Quinlan which spent a year raising more than $10,000 to buy the family a diabetic alert dog.
“It was God ordained,” Tina Westmoreland told Fox 4. “God’s hand was in it from the beginning.”
Journey gave Hannah a nudge to alert her when her insulin levels got too high. The girl took Journey everywhere.
“Having a diabetic is like an infant. A 15-year-old infant,” Tina said. “You’re checking a couple times a night. You’re making sure you’re adjusting. You’re making sure they’re eating before bed. Journey just kind of helped with a peace of mind.”
2. Hannah’s Mom Found Journey Lying Motionless in The Yard
Tina Westmoreland told Fox 4 that she let Journey out to play in the back yard at around 9:30 am on Sunday morning. When she checked on the dog about 20 minutes later, she found Journey lying motionless in front of the home.
The family was unsure what happened and did not hear any gunshots or loud noises.
“My grandpa went to pick him up, and there was blood,” Hannah told the news station. “So he put his hand, and we figured out there was a gunshot.”
3. Journey Died From a Gunshot Wound
Journey was rushed to a veterinarian emergency room.
The pup was taken into surgery but died from his wound.
The family said they have no idea who would kill the dog or why. The family said they have a fence in the back but found the gate open. They said they did not hear any gunshots.
“There’s no good reason,” Tina said. “None.”
“Journey never barked and always obeyed and possibly would’ve followed commands from a stranger,” the family told Fox 4.
4. Hannah & Her Family Are ‘Heartbroken,’ Mom Says
“We’re just heartbroken,” Tina said told Fox 4.
“People wanting to hear her story has been the only thing to stop her crying,” Tina told The Dallas Morning-News. “She’s just — she’s so sad.”
Tina said the family has no plans to get another service dog.
“It scares me to death to try to replace Journey,” she said. “For now, I’ll be more proactive in checking her sugars.”
5. The Westmoreland Family Has Launched the ‘Justice4Journey’ Campaign
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.
The Westmoreland family has set up a Justice4Journey Facebook page in hopes of solving the case and to raise money to offer a reward.
The family has also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a reward.