GEORGETOWN, Ind. (WHAS11) -- River City Bloodhounds are trained to help track down people in need, but now their handlers are asking for your help finding the scent after someone shot one of the dogs.

For the last three years, Michelle Mantilla and her husband have lived in a quiet Georgetown subdivision with four of their four-legged friends.

The dogs are kept in a fence in the backyard, in a neighborhood full of dog lovers.

“They’re just a big slobbery mess of love,” said Mantilla. “You don’t own a bloodhound they own you. They’re big babies. They’re just lovable dogs. They’re gentle giants. That’s my heart.”

However, her heart was broken when her husband went out to feed their dogs with a Sunday morning special: pancakes.

“Maize is usually the very first dog when there is food involved to run at you,” said Mantilla. “We brought her in and checked her over. We thought she was bloating because bloodhounds are prone to bloat.”

After rushing Maize to Shively Animal Hospital the veterinarians discovered an issue much bigger than bloating.

“They put the X-ray up and were like somebody shot your dog,” said Mantilla. “Immediately, I felt like I was scared, and uncertain because I had three other dogs at home. Why would somebody do this?”

The vet found a .22 caliber bullet lodged in the dog's belly near vital organs.

The Mantilla’s were home at the time, but never heard a gunshot, and that has turned her dream home into a house of horrors even after she called the police.

“There’s no sense of security,” said Mantilla. “It just was taken away pretty quick. If somebody would be that bold to come up that close to the yard and shoot a dog what would keep them from shooting somebody else’s dog, or a child. What kind of person are we really dealing with?”

Michelle Mantilla tells me that Maize has started to eat again. As of Tuesday morning, Maize is home and continuing to recover. She is doing OK.

Her handlers hope she is able to make a full recovery and continue her career as a search and rescue dog by this fall.