Two years ago, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Amatrice, a town in central Italy. Its devastation was heartbreaking– the town needed a hero and it found one with four legs, a German Shepherd named Kaos.

Kaos and his handler, Fabiano Ettore, were quickly on the scene, eager to help rescue efforts. Kaos was just a year old but showed the dedication of a seasoned rescue dog.

Fabiano Ettorre/Facebook

The earthquake killed 241 people and left Amatrice in rubble and ash. But Kaos and the team didn’t give up looking for survivors. He worked around the clock for weeks.

Then, just months after the quake in Amatrice, another earthquake hit Italy, this time in the town of Norcia. Kaos was on the scene again, eager to help, eager to save who he could, buried deep beneath the rubble from the quake’s wrath.

Then the unthinkable happened this past Saturday. Kaos, hailed worldwide as a hero, has just been found dead. His owner, Ettore, found his body in the garden of their home. Kaos had been poisoned. Ettore posted this on Facebook:

“I have no words,” Ettore wrote. “I can’t understand such a horrible act.”

Ettore insists that Kaos was alive and well the night before. He even heard him barking at 2 a.m. But when Ettore woke up, Kaos was gone. It’s unknown at this time how Kaos was poisoned, and if it was an intentional act for sure, but the police have launched a formal investigation.

“They killed the hero who, together with rescuers, dug with his four paws during those dramatic hours to find survivors of that massacre,” Rinaldo Sidoli, a spokesman for Animalisti Italiani, an animal rights group, told the Guardian. “Kaos saved humans, and those same humans poisoned him.”

“We will not rest until justice is done,” said Sidoli. “We must push the political world towards a new law that foresees more severe penalties for those who mistreat and kill animals.”

Kaos may be gone, but will never be forgotten. Let’s pray the monsters responsible for this heinous act are brought to justice.

RIP Kaos 🙁