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Dear editor,

On April 9, our family was enjoying the sun outside. My daughter was jumping on the trampoline when she landed crooked on her leg and we had to run her into the emergency room at Logan Regional Hospital. We left our home in Riverdale around 2:30 p.m.

As usual, we left our two dogs outside to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors rather than be shut up in a kennel. We have a small min pin Chihuahua named Ricky and a Labrador retriever border collie mix named Buddy. If you ask anyone Ricky is the bully and loves to chase our neighbors driving down the road. Buddy is the gentle giant that will approach anyone with the tail down hoping to be petted.

When we came back home from the emergency room around 5:15 p.m. the same day, Ricky greeted us on the road as usual; Buddy was laying in “his” spot next to the lilac bush. I knew something was wrong when he didn't get up immediately to welcome us. Upon discovery and a trip to the vet, we found that he had been shot by a shotgun and had 34 holes in his left side starting up in his cheek all the way to his tail. We live in a rural area with only four neighbors. Two of our neighbors live along the county road and attest that Buddy has never been seen that far without us accompanying him. The other two neighbors live farther down the road than us. We live on a private road with empty pasture on one side and forest on the other. I'd appreciate it if anyone who had any information about the person who shot our dog could come forward and give us some light to this harrowing event. I have five young children who love to play around the property and my two dogs as described.

It's a time of uncertainty for us, knowing that somebody would shoot a docile, gentle dog close range with no real intent. Please help us find justice for the innocent.

Rachel Payne


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