Drury Inn murder victim’s dog finds forever home

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HOUSE SPRINGS, MO (KPLR) – When the night manager at the Drury Inn on Hampton Avenue was killed by an armed robber in January, many grieving family members and friends were left behind, including the victim’s best friend. What happened to Scott Knopfel’s dog?

Every animal at the Open Door shelter in House Springs has a hard luck story, but one dog that left here the other day may have the hardest luck story of them all.

“(Scott) went to work one day and never came home,” said Tammy Quackenbush, executive director at Open Door.

Knopfel, who was single, did not live alone. He had a roommate: Brittany, an 11-year-old spaniel mix, who’d lived with Knopfel since she was a puppy.

“It is a very heartbreaking story. And it is one you don’t think of, because you see these people on the news that are getting killed and you think of the family, but then there’s the pets,” Quackenbush said.

When Scott’s brother found Brittany’s records, he decided the best place to take her was the same place where Scott found her in 2004. The Open Door shelter welcomed her back with open arms.

“When she first came to us she was in shock, she didn’t know what to do, she was really depressed for a while,” said Ashley Cox, a veterinarian technician at the shelter.

Spending the past several months in the spot the staff call “the man cave” seemed to boost Brittany’s spirits. Open Door feared she’d never find a permanent home because, aside from being old, she also has a lot of health problems.

But then a local veterinarian came forward; and last weekend, Brittany left with a new best friend. The veterinarian asked not to be identified.

Nursing Brittany back to health was not easy, nor cheap. Fortunately for the Open Door sanctuary, which relies on donations to survive, the owners of the Drury Inn paid for all Brittany’s medical care.

“She had a great life but we are only here eight hours a day so it is much nicer that she is getting a home now,” Cox said.

There is bound to be some part of Brittany still waiting for Scott Knopfel to come back home. And while Brittany will never understand why he has not, surely it would be worse if she did know the reason.

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