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UPDATE: Tuesday morning, friends of Anthony Santi and his family reached out to FOX4, saying the dog sitter had agreed to give his dog Donnie back. They picked him up, and he was back home with Santi’s 14-year-old daughter before the 2 p.m. visitation.


Original story:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Loved ones of the Kansas City firefighter killed in a shooting in Independence, Missouri last week say they are fighting a different battle: getting his beloved dog back.

FOX4 reported Thursday when Anthony Santi, 41, was shot and killed at a gas station.

Ja’Von Taylor is facing a weapons charge from the incident.

Santi’s friends and family say he would leave his dachshund, Donnie, with a dog sitter when he was heading on vacation.

“Anybody who knew Tony knew how much Tony loved that dog,” said friend Jennifer Leonard. “That dog went everywhere.”

Leonard said now, after Santi’s death, the sitter is not giving the animal back.

“He’s a great person and he would not approve of this,” Leonard said. “He would want his mom to be at peace.”

FOX4 is not naming the friend and dog sitter since she is not charged with a crime.

She also will not be interviewed, but FOX4 spoke with her multiple times Monday for her side of the story.

About an hour before news time Monday evening, she recanted her entire statement, saying we did not have permission to use it.

“The family has been requesting the dog really since Thursday,” Leonard said

FOX4 brought the situation to multiple Kansas City attorneys. They say in Missouri, pets are personal property. With no will, property goes to Santi’s estate and any heirs.

“l think of his 14-year-old daughter who would just like to cuddle up with the dog,” Leonard said.

Family said Santi will be laid to rest Wednesday.