YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- An elderly couple says burglars not only ransacked and burglarized their Yorba Linda home, they say the suspects attacked their dog so severely, it had to be put down.
Peggy Lawson, 77, can't understand why anyone, even a burglar, would hurt her dog.
Last week, she and her 91-year-old husband George came home to their ransacked rooms in the middle of the day.
Whoever did the crime took cash and a gun, but what really mattered to the Lawsons was their 13-year-old, 9-pound toy poodle, Fifi. She was spitting blood and barely moving. They believe the thief or thieves beat her during the break in.
"Hugging her and kissing her, she tried to kiss me back and whined, and I said I won't put her through one more minute of pain," Peggy shared.
The Lawsons say their beloved retired therapy dog suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung and other internal injuries. They made the difficult decision to have her euthanized.
"They could put her in a trauma unit for overnight with no guarantee, but for sure she would never have the personality she had," Peggy said.
While the Orange County Sheriff's Department investigates, the Lawsons have moved Fifi's stairs to their bed outside and are preparing a spot to bury her ashes in the yard.
They say they've seen an increase in crime in their area and just want whoever did this to be locked up and understand how much pain they've caused.
"Scum of the earth, that's all I can say. If they catch them, don't let me near them," Peggy said.
Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Dog dies after being beaten during break-in, couple says