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Modesto Family’s Beloved Dog Killed in Home Break-In

MODESTO -- She may have been a cocker spaniel, as friendly as they come and just 18 pounds, but none of that was going to stop Ginger from protecting her Modesto home.

"She was probably barking and growling and whoever was in there probably went to kick her, push her back, and she attacked," said Gary Neal.

Neither Gary nor Vicki Neal was home at the time of the burglary. By the time Vicki got home, it was all over.

"She was laying on the floor in a puddle of blood," she told FOX40.

The Neals adopted Ginger three years ago this weekend.

She was abandoned at a gas station, scared and hungry. By the end of that day, Ginger was a member of the family.

Still, Gary and Vicki Neal never imagined she would one day find herself in the role of guard dog.

Ginger did scare the burglar or burglars off, but she paid for it with her life.

"I’m lost. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m vengeful. I am heartbroken," Vicki Neal said.

"This is a cliche, everybody says it, but it's a family member," Gary Neal said. "And how would you feel if you walked in to find a family member slaughtered?"

The Modesto Police Department is actively investigating the case. The Neals are offering a reward for information that’s already in the thousands of dollars and growing every day.