By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family’s received a heartwarming surprise weeks after their dog was shot and killed while playing in the backyard.

Porter, a 6-year-old Springer Spaniel, died after being shot with a pellet gun by an unknown suspect. Police say he was shot through a small opening in the family’s six foot fence.

A WCCO viewer saw our story about Porter — and decided to give the family something to remember their dog. Just looking into the eyes of Porter the dog — it’s easy to see why the Docken family loved him so much.

Animal lover and artist Krystin Kaess felt helpless seeing WCCO’s story of the Docken’s search to find Porter’s killer.

“To me, it’s overwhelming. It’s extremely sad,” Krystin Kaess of Hudson, Wisconsin, said. “I thought of it happening to my dog and and I’d be heartbroken.”

She decided to give the family a gift of art. Looking around her living room, there are dozens of amazing portraits of pets and wild life. When she saw Porter, she wanted to capture his spirit for the family.

“I really hope that they say ‘That’s him, that’s my dog,” she said.

Kaess spent close to fifteen hours looking over every hair, spot, and the glisten in those eyes. On Monday, she arrived at the Docken’s home in Plymouth to give them the finished drawing.

Their young daughter didn’t hesitate — she knew who it was.

Even if an act of kindness from a stranger doesn’t bring Porter back, his spirit will always linger in their home.

The reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspect is now up to $10,000. If you have any information you should call the Plymouth Police Department.

You can learn more about Krystin’s animal and wildlife portraits on her Facebook page.

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