Who Really Killed Buddy?
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Who Really Killed Buddy?

From Anai Rhoads
24 January 2005

Buddy was Anthony's "best friend in the world", according to the young boy. Buddy was also the house pet, the protector, and a family member according to the 9 year-old's mother, Robyn Schroeder of Rogersville, Mo.

Tragically, on the evening of the 10th, the Schroeder family was faced with the loss of their beloved Buddy, when a neighbour walked over and shot the dog three times before walking away.

"Anthony was still outside, at about 5:15 pm we all heard a gun shot. Our son came in the house yelling that someone was shooting Buddy. We went out looking for Buddy and saw a man walking up the timber line of the trailer park. We called for Buddy, knowing he would come up if Anthony called him we waited, still no Buddy," Schroeder said.

Along with a neighbour, they saw a man who was carrying a gun and recognised him as one of their neighbours. He was notorious for despising dogs in the area, so they had no question in their mind that he was the one who shot Buddy.

Not long after a confrontation with the neighbour, the dog was located on a back hill of another neighbour's property.

"The dog was still alive but I knew he was dying, he had been shot three times. Once in the right foot, his neck and in the chest area," Schroeder said, "When I walked up to him he was trying to get up, and wagging his tail. I could tell he had been shot in his lung because it was hard for him to breath. We called the police, who were on their way."

During this crucial time, Schroeder had a choice. She could either wait for the police and let the dog die, or rush Buddy to a hospital where she would have the opportunity to file a report and possibly save the animal's life.

Schroeder decided to wait for the police, saying "Buddy was still alive at that time. He suffered for over 45 minutes before he died."

When I asked her if she would have waited for the police if her son, Anthony, was shot, she said "No".

The the police finally arrived, they proceeded to take their statement before speaking to the man accused of shooting Buddy. According to Schroeder, the man admitted to the police that he shot Buddy. Police reports have not confirmed this.

Schroeder insists the suspect, who is currently nameless, has shot many dogs in that trailer park and has even said he would "shoot a leashed dog" walking with his/her owner.

The police did not take the suspect's weapon after questioning, nor did they arrest him.

"I don't want this dropped. We all loved Buddy, he was one of us. The least we can do for all the love he showed toward us is to find some kind of justice for his death," Schroeder expressed.

In this case there were three people who are to blame for Buddy's death. The man who shot him, his owner for standing by for 45 minutes instead of rushing him to a hospital, and the police who took an insane amount of time arriving to the scene knowing they would be dealing with an animal shooting and not an attempted homicide.

What You Can Do

If you or someone you know is ever faced with a crisis such as this, think fast. Much like a human life, an animal's life is no less fragile. There is no time to waste waiting for authorities, action needs to be taken right then and there to save a life. Robyn Schroeder did not choose to save this animal's life, knowing and seeing the obvious suffering before her. Now her son and her family mourn Buddy, when they could have saved him or at least put him out of obvious agony.

If the animal is injured in any way, the first thing you must do is call a vet. The police are secondary in these cases, because the vet will contact the animal welfare department to report the abuse for you. You will then have an opportunity to speak to an officer who deals with animal cruelty cases, while your pet is being treated for his or her wounds.

Your pet is a member of your family. Anything you would normally do for a family member that is injured - you must do for your animal.

Tips

Add emergency numbers to your mobile phone and to the list you normally keep by your home phone.

Keep calm, try not to panic. The animal is relying on you to help them.

Do not wasted any time, this includes getting online to look up a remedy. If the animal is bleeding - do what you would do for a human - put a cloth over the wound and apply moderate pressure to stop the bleeding until you arrive at the hospital.

When calling the vet, describe the injuries in as much detail as possible. This will help the emergency room prepare for your arrival quicker. The vet will also give you quick tips on what you can do before and during your trip to the hospital.

If your pet passes away before you can get help, get help anyway. Your pet may have been poisoned, the bullets may be examined, and so on. Save another pet by being proactive with yours. Schroeder did not bring Buddy in at all, leaving her with no evidence against her neighbour.

In cases of fires a natural disaster, always keep a sticker visible in your front and back windows that say there are animals in the house so that rescuers can search for them.

To pre-empt other disasters, create a survival kit for your animal(s) to add to your own. These would include extra water, food, blankets, medicine, treats, and a first aid kit.

As always, use common sense. Put away medicine and other dangerous chemicals, and all foods that contain chocolate, never leave your pet chained outside and never allow your dog to roam freely in the street without a leash, and never leave an animal alone in a car in any weather.

If your animal is not acting right, not eating, not having bowel movements, vomiting, or is listless - take him or her to the vet right away.

A good resource to print out and keep in a visible place is "How to handle pet emergencies", provided by Allsand. The information is free.

Always report all suspicious activity to the police before an incident happens. If you knew someone is harming children in your neighbourhood, you would report it, right? Do the same for all animals. Don't let your pet end up like Buddy.

2005 Anai Rhoads Ford. Reproduction must be authorised in writing by author only. Altering, redistributing, or selling this material is strictly prohibited.

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