Autistic girl's missing dog found dead in family's yard

By Natalie Caula

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- With an infectious laugh, nine-year-old Alle Nolan can't say much.

"Communication is a big frustration for her," her mother Kelley Nolan said.

Alle is autistic but despite her silence, her mother says Alle knows someone she loves is missing.

"She plays with his toys, and she has toys he played with her and she looks for him. She goes from room-to-room checking for him periodically," Kelley said.

All that's left behind is Toby's collar. The dog was more than a friend to the young girl, but a protector, according to Kelley.

"He slept with her at night. If she'd get up, he'd let us know. It's things that we spent three years teaching him to look out for her. We trained him to be her best friend and second pair of eyes," Kelley said.

Last Tuesday Kelley Nolan says someone stole Toby from the yard. She says school children across the street say they saw a white woman with blonde hair in a Charger take the dog.

Kelley said they looked everywhere, until Sunday when they had to stop looking.

"He was half in the ditch, half in the yard," she said. "There was still blood coming from his mouth. They had done blunt force trauma to his head, like a baseball bat."

Kelley says she has no idea who would do this to her or her family.

"I just cannot understand how someone could be so cruel. Not only because he was our family member but because he was a special dog," she said.

Kelley described the actions of the person who put the dog back in the yard as cowardly and heartless.

The $500 reward for information on the dog's whereabouts has now become a reward for information on what happened to Toby. Anyone with information should contact the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the incident, along with animal control.