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Marla Vollmer and her dog Rowdy

Marla Vollmer and her dog Rowdy, in a 2015 photo

A search dog shot in Freeburg Tuesday has died. A reward fund to find the culprit has grown to more than $2,100.

The dog Rowdy, 8, was a black lab mix and a cadaver dog for Gateway Search Dogs Inc.  He had been on more than 30 missions in the bi-state area since he was certified about five years ago. A cadaver dog is trained to use its sense of smell to find human remains. Some of the searches Rowdy had taken part in were cold cases.

His owner, Marla Vollmer, found Rowdy at about 7 p.m. Tuesday near the road on her property in the Meadowbrook subdivision in Freeburg. The vet said Rowdy had been shot with a BB pellet, either by a high-powered weapon or at close range, based on the injury, Vollmer said. 

Rowdy was not conducting a search when he was shot. He was running in his yard, on a 40-acre plot, before Vollmer — who is the sister of Post-Dispatch digital editor Amanda St. Amand — found the injured dog. 

Although Rowdy was found in the yard, the shooting may have taken place elsewhere.

Rowdy underwent a three-hour surgery at an animal-emergency center in Collinsville to repair his bowel. He died late Friday night 

Vollmer said the reward was set up as an incentive to find the person who shot the dog.

"I just want to make sure they understand what they've done here and it never happens again," she said.

Freeburg police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call Freeburg police at 618-539-3132.