OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A beloved therapy dog named Meeko is now home safe, and his accused shooter is behind bars and charged with shooting Meeko during a home burglary in Overland Park last week.
Matthew W. Oden, 32, is charged with theft, burglary and cruelty to animals. He was taken into custody by the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department -- whose detectives picked him up on a warrant Tuesday for charges in Johnson County.
The arrest and charges come as a huge relief to Meeko’s family.
“Relieved, happy, vindicated, all of the above. I'm glad he's off the streets,” said Tina Kirwan.
Oden is accused of burglarizing Kirwan’s Overland Park home and shooting Meeko through the nose.
“I've been broken-hearted by the whole thing. I'm broken-hearted my children had to see what they saw. I'm broken-hearted that he had to sit for three hours without anybody to love and to take him to the vet,” said Kirwan.
Cuddly and carefree, the eight-year-old golden retriever-cocker spaniel mix is a certified therapy dog who offers comfort at an area senior living center. He’s healing quickly from the shooting.
“The love and the prayers have been felt and obviously have worked because he's a miracle. We took him to the vet yesterday, they're amazed by his progress,” said Kirwan.
Anxious for life to return to normal, Kirwan’s family is happy that Meeko is back home where he belongs, and that the accused shooter has been arrested.
“He doesn't need to be on the street. He just doesn't deserve… he needs to be in jail. He needs to be put away. He's obviously got issues that are dangerous and he needs to be away. We don't need him in our society anymore,” said Kirwan.
Oden’s court date has not been announced yet. According to court records, he has served time in both Kansas and Missouri correctional facilities for other burglary and drug convictions.
Matthew Oden, 32, arrested on JoCo 15CR2481. Chgs are burg, theft, & felony cruelty to animals. No court date set. https://t.co/xChhdZsX7Q
— Johnson County Ks DA (@JohnsonCoDA) October 13, 2015
— Overland Park Police (@OverlandPark_PD) October 13, 2015