Dog drowned in basement

Man’s service dog drowned in basement of his home during heavy rainstorm

A deaf man’s service dog drowned in the basement of his Fort Wayne, Indiana, home during heavy rains last week. According to Monday’s WANE News, Sportster, a German shepherd, was home alone in her cage when the water began to rise inside of Christian Copper’s home.

Copper told the news agency of his tremendous loss:

“I have no family, all I have is this home and she was my girl. It’s very lonely here without her.”

Copper was out when the rain began to fall heavily – he knew that he needed to get home to his dog, but he arrived too late. In fact, by the time that Copper got back to his house, his basement was completely full of water and he could not even get down the stairs to access Sportster in her kennel.

Copper is devastated by the loss of Sportster – a dog who allowed him to function as a deaf man in the world. Sportster not only assisted her owner, but provided unconditional love and companionship. Copper’s friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Copper obtain another dog – though he has stated that he can’t even think about replacing her right now.

(screenshots via WANE News)

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37 replies
  1. dianaroby02 says:

    Why was his dog at home, locked in a cage while he was not home? Or anytime for that matter? How was she helping him to function when he was outside without his dog?

    Reply
  2. Nancy Raymond says:

    If Sportster was a service dog WHY was he not with Copper instead of being stuck in a basement in a cage? This makes no sense and I find it suspicious – this poor dog died when he should have been out with his owner.

    Reply
  3. Bunny Peters says:

    I work with people who have service animals. These animals are in the office, go to meetings, go to restaurants…… wherever their human goes, they go EVERYWHERE…..

    Why was this man out without his necessary service animal???

    RIP Sportster……

    Reply
  4. pennysdachshund says:

    It would be a COLD Day in Hell before This Individual got another SERVICE? DOG.. Alone on a concrete floor in a more than likely dark basement will the INDIVIDUAL WHO Is SUPPOSED to have ASSISTANCE and WERVICE is OUT while the dog has water rising UP and SHE KNOWS SHE is going to DIE because SHE CAN”T GET out of the LOCKED CAGE!!! The area doesn’t look fit to have an animal contained in … If he had to do that why wasn’t She upstairs where someone could have gotten to her and she at least had a fighting chance, or light and not in a cave like enclosure. I was say this was damn near neglect or abuse…

    Reply
    • Barkley's Mom says:

      I am having trouble wrapping my head around a hearing dog being left in a basement in her crate. Obviously Mr Copper knew the basement would flood hence the panic to get home. I also am having a hard time with the attempt to get Mr Copper another dog. Why wasn’t Sportster with him on his “date”? Rest in peace precious girl, you were let down big time by the one who was supposed to depend on you and love you. I feel for anyone losing a valuable service dog like this, but this should never have happened. .

      Reply
      • pennysdachshund says:

        This NEED”S to BE FULLY investigated by the ORGANIZATION PROVIDING SERVICE DOGS & the LOCAL ASPCA, there is a “Rotten Rat” mixed up in this horrific treatment of this Beautiful Girl that was trained to serve and watch over her companion. Where was this Asshole,, OUT having a “F-Fest” while his beautiful dog was being drowned in a COLD<DARK< DANK<BASEMENT JAILED WITH NO CHANCE OF ESCAPE!!!! GOD THIS IS BEYOND ABUSE!!!

  5. ellen cottone says:

    why didnt you have the dog with you at all times, knuckle head,
    Like you are supposed too. why do you even have a crate? hearing impaired and can not hear your dog.bark.
    why is your dog in a cage in a basement. What the hell is really going on here? why would your dog be in a locked cage if you need a dog?

    Reply
    • Barbara Cordon says:

      I agree this doesnt sound right. The dog should have not been in a basment in a cage. If the dog had to be home it should have been in a cage upstairs. The dog really should have been with him. I agree he should not be allowed to get another one. He obviously doesnt know how to take care of a pet. Money should not be given to him so he can get another one.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        a service dog should never be in a cage. what so ever for any reason . not even in a plane

  6. Viki Hood says:

    Get him another dog? I think not. He would lock the poor dog in the basement. He took care of himself when it was raining. He didn’t even think to call a neighbor to attend to the dog he loved so much. Service dogs go with their people everywhere. This man was busy with his girlfriend. This dog he “loved so much” was not part of the household, this dog was storage material or at least he would have been left in the house on the couch. There should be charges and punishment not money for another innocent to be abused and killed.

    Reply
    • pennysdachshund says:

      I SO AGREE with YOU!!! I hope someone out there DEMANDS and investigation into this Issue: Myself I can’t get the vision OUT of MY mind of That Lovely Dog watching the water come UP and Know for quite some time that DEATH was IMMINENT!!!!!!! Charges of NEGLECT and ABUSE are warranted… I have a brother -in-law ( also deaf ) who is exactly the same way … He also thinks he is untouchable because he is Disabled!!! and the Government and Everyone Else Owes him !!!

      Reply
  7. Deneen Lopez says:

    Why in the world was she locked in a crate in the basement if she was a service dog? Or any dog for that matter. Even crate trained dogs don’t need to be kept in a basement. He shouldn’t have another dog.

    Reply
  8. Marsha Flynn Squibb says:

    NEVER leave your dog in a cage unable to get out!!!You don’t deserve another dog..You were not a responsible owner… RIP Sportser..You deserved so much better

    Reply
    • Darlene Wilson says:

      Amen!! Everyone of you voiced my thoughts! He’s deaf so how was he to hear the dog or how would sportster let him know of people at the door etc, Something isn’t right here and I’m with all of you……he doesn-t need another service dog or any pet! That poor dog knowing he was going to drown and not able to get out!!!! Karma Copper!!! One day it will show up….

      Reply
  9. Theresa says:

    fucking piece of shit why was the dog locked in the cage in the basement that doesn’t make sense you fucking asshole you got a go fund me page go fuck yourself that poor dog must’ve suffered dearly because of you if she was out of the cage she probably would have survived

    Reply
  10. Jessica says:

    This man does not deserve companionship. The agency wouldn’t have given him the dog if they knew how it was going to be kept.

    Reply
  11. Dana says:

    This is a fishy set of circumstances. I thought you were deaf and Sportster was your service animal? Why then was she in a crate in the basement while you were out?
    RIP Sportster, you certainly didn’t deserve to live or die like that!! ????

    Reply
  12. Lauri says:

    Not receiving any money for your fund from me. Very irresponsible and borderline abuse and neglect. After looking at your dirty naughty basement. No animal deserves what happened to Sportster. Locked up, Cold, Wet, Drowned with FEAR. No animal deserves a basement. Sportster should have been with you. Or upstairs where he would have had a chance to be alive. Not lockup in a cage. Cooper you not deserve another dog. Poor Innocent Sportster. Cross The Rainbow Bridge then into the loving open arms of Saint Francis of Assisi. No More Cage, No More Basement, No More FEAR. Just Love and Respect. Run Free Sportster, Run Free. You Deserved So Much Better.

    Reply
  13. Ellen Anderson says:

    If he was out without his service dog, he obviously doesn’t need one. And how dare he keep it caged???? I hope he can be charge with fraud or negligence or something … .this is NOT right.

    Reply
  14. Daniel Clarkson says:

    Like many others, I want to know why the dog was left at home, alone, locked up in a vulnerable location. He was a service dog, FFS. There is something very suspicious about the death of this dog. The story of the owner needs to be investigated further, and charges laid if anything is discovered. As for him getting another service dog, NO WAY.

    Reply
  15. Donna Zirkle says:

    Just concerned that a man who is hearing impaired would think it is ok to put a dog in a cage in a basement. Makes no sense to me.

    Reply
  16. linda says:

    I went into the Go Fund Me page and many others commented the same as we had about his treatment of Sportster. Also funds of approx 4,000 have been donated.

    Reply
    • pennysdachshund says:

      DO YOU actually THINK the FUNDS WILL GO FOR A NEW “COMPANION DOG”??? IT is TOO DAMN BAD these trusting and caring people can’t be shown the ” torture chamber” HIS BEAUTIFUL GIRL SPORTSTER DIED IN!!! I with the POLICE would become involved because there is SOMETHING UNSAVORY GOING ON HERE!!! I don’t even know of who one could contact for an investigation…. as I am not SAVEY to working the NET!!! ANY one with Idea’s how to save another animal from going thru what Sportster did!!!!

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        clearly he does not need a service dog. hes a sham and should be investigated for other acts of sleeze

    • linda says:

      What I wrote to this Go Fund Me page was. “I cannot donate to an irresponsible dog owner”. Was I wrong? Many who know him proclaimed he was a generous person and did not need Sportster every where he went. However, who keeps a service dog caged in the basement and not upstairs without being caged. A service dog does not need to be caged!!!!!! I am well aware some people do cage dogs, but only rescues do too prevent harm from other rescued dogs.

      Reply
      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I don’t think you did the wrong thing, I can’t find it in my heart to donate either and think the ones that are doing so are getting ripped off. I find it highly unlikely a trained service dog would need to be crated either and doing it in the basement stinks! I would like to know where he got this “hearing” dog, I follow several pages of people with hearing dogs and have yet to see one that doesn’t take their dog wherever they go, they are their “ears”. I know one organization Dogs for the Deaf, rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be hearing and other service dogs. for a $50.00 application fee and a $500.00 refundable Good Faith deposit. Hardly $4,000! I don;t really know what is going on here but I am suspicious it’s not totally on the up and up!

      • pennysdachshund says:

        I FOR ONE totally agree with ” there is the smell of CARP in the Air OR MAYBE IT IS CRAP”!! my brother in law “also deaf” took Tuffy ( his assistance ) dog with him every where,,, even to the girlfriend’s house” never locked up in a cage, I sure with a Foundation for the hearing impaired dogs would investigate this , as that poor dog should not have drowned in the basement under any circumstances!!!

  17. ellen cottone says:

    nobody keeps something he loves in a dungen/ root celler. you put something you want to forget in a basement. he kept this dog down in that horrable place alot. that dog didnt sleep in his room. that dog wasnt connected to him. hes a scam.

    Reply

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