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ALVARADO (CBS11) – After losing their 5-year-old son, Caleb to cancer just before Christmas, the Adams are once again feeling the pain of loss.

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For years, Bear had been Caleb’s best friend and service dog. The child was diagnosed with a severe form of autism and struggled with several medical issues.

“He was there for him when he was stressed out, when he had a bad day. Bear was there to comfort him,” said Caleb’s father Joseph Adams.

Bear and his young owner were inseparable. When Caleb was diagnosed with cancer just before Thanksgiving of 2015, Bear was constantly by his side.

“We brought [Caleb] home. He wanted to see Santa Claus and he told Santa Claus that he didn’t want to have cancer anymore,” said Mr. Adams, tearfully.

When Caleb lost his battle with cancer, Bear was there to comfort his grieving family.

Nearly nine months after suffering this heartbreaking loss, the family is mourning once again.

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After hearing a yelp in the middle of the night, Joseph Adams found the service dog, lifeless inside of their fenced in backyard.

“This is just an act of evil. Someone has no heart, to sit there and do that to an animal but a member of our animal,” he said.

The family believes Bear was shot to death. They filed a report with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. A necropsy is scheduled in Fort Worth later in the week.

During his five short years, Caleb achieved his dream of becoming a police officer. The Cleburne Police Department made him an honorary deputy. When he passed away, law enforcement from across Texas honored him with a funeral fit for an officer.

The Adams say they didn’t just lose a pet, they lost another piece of Caleb.

“It’s like losing another part of your family. Bear was a family member.”

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