EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The owners of the dog shot and killed in East Providence are asking for the culprit to come forward.

The Faria family told 12 News their husky, Niko, got loose on the morning of Jan. 24. and was later found that evening with an injury to the head.

Niko was taken to the veterinarian where the owners were told he was shot with a pellet. The owners decided to euthanize Niko and are now seeking answers about their pet’s death.

“We can’t believe that someone would do something like this to an animal, a helpless animal that can’t talk back and can’t fight back, and certainly never would have been a harm to anything,” owner Taylor Faria said.

Faria said the family is looking for closure.

“He was not an aggressive dog, so we would really like someone to come forward if they have heard something, even if it was an accident,” Faria said. “We would really just like somebody to be honest.”

Niko was found in the area of Forbes and Lunn streets. Police are investigating the incident and are looking for surveillance footage from the area.

“It doesn’t have to be humor or animal you should at least care enough to know that you hurt something whether it was intentionally or accidental, just imagine that it was your child,” Faria said. “That is how we are feeling because that was our baby.”

A community member set up a GoFundMe to help the family pay for the veterinarian bills and to offer a $500 reward for those with information.

Mayor Bob DaSilva said the city is also accepting donations to offer a reward in their effort to identify Niko’s shooter.

“I cannot think of a better way to keep Niko’s memory alive than to find the person responsible,” DaSilva said.

East Providence police said it’s unclear whether the incident was accidental or intentional.

“We are not speculating that someone might have mistaken it for a coyote or a wild animal or something like that,” said Captain James Nelson of the East Providence Police Department. “But at this point, we have no idea.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police department at 401-435-7600.