"Keep up your work up there, keep looking for the missing and saving lives." It's an unusual message for a deceased dog, but an appropriate one for Kaos, a German shepherd credited with helping find survivors buried in Italy following a 6.2-magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 300 people in August 2016 and another 6.6-magniture temblor in October of that year, reports the Guardian. Labeled a hero, the dog met its own untimely end over the weekend in what owner Fabiano Ettore claims was a poisoning, per the BBC. There are "no words" to describe the grief following "such a horrible act," Ettore wrote in a Facebook post, shared more than 69,000 times, after finding Kaos dead in his garden in Sant'Eusanio Forconese on Saturday.
Italian police, who say the dog fell ill while outside and died a short time later, are now investigating. Per Sky News, a 2014 report named poisonings as the second leading cause of canine deaths in Italy, and politicians are now using Kaos' death as a kind of rallying cry. Referring to the "terrible and unjustified act," Health Minister Giulia Grillo is calling for tougher sentences against "these hateful crimes committed by heartless criminals." Member of parliament Michela Brambilla, who previously proposed a law that would ban the use of poisoned bait, likewise calls for harsher penalties for those "who mistreat and kill those who do not even have a voice." Meanwhile, #Kaos was trending among Italian tweeters. (This gang put a big bounty on a dog's head.)