Sadie was friendly and lovable. That’s what neighbors of Carolyn and Bryan Ware on Robinson Road in Clover Hill remember about the Wares’ eight-month-old border collie-lab mix. She’d always flop down on the ground for a belly rub.
Approximately 5 p.m. on April 3, witnesses saw Sadie and the Ware’s other dog, Daisy, about six to seven feet behind a man riding on a bicycle. The dogs were wagging their tails and their barking was friendly.
In just seconds, the man turned around, pulled a pistol out of his shorts pocket and shot Sadie in the head between the eyes.
“It happened and he was gone,” said one witness, who asked to remain anonymous. “[The dogs] were not threatening. To me, if you feel threatened by a dog, you yell or kick at it. He didn’t even give Sadie a chance.”
And for the Wares—they say they’ve lost a family member.
“Pets are your family. They love you unconditionally,” said Carolyn. “My husband is so upset he can’t talk about it. I haven’t cried yet. I’m just really angry. It’s like she didn’t matter. Maybe not to him, but she was a part of our family.”
Another concern for the Wares and their neighbors was the possibility of a ricocheting bullet, especially because small children were nearby.
“How could someone riding a bicycle shoot animals with children around? I have never had anything like this,” said Carolyn, who has lived in the Clover Hill area for 37 years. “It was just mean and vicious.”
The man, who appeared to be in his 30s or 40s, is a stranger to the area, witnesses said. But someone fitting the same description was seen the following day April 4 in an older green Chrysler van. The van, driven by a woman with salt and pepper hair, pulled into Crousehorn Lane near the Wares’ house. The man pointed to the Wares’ property where Sadie had been shot. No one saw the license plates.
Although bereft about Sadie’s death, the Wares are taking action. In addition to reporting it to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s office, they are papering the area with flyers about the incident and offering a reward leading to the man’s arrest.
“We have certainly been following up with patrols in that area and talking to neighbors to see if anyone matching that description has been seen since then,” said Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson.
“I just want word out there,” Carolyn Ware said. “We want justice for the pup. She was such a good girl. Somebody knows something. Or he needs to turn himself in. And then I’ll probably break down and cry.”
A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the man who shot and killed Bryan and Carolyn Ware’s dog, Sadie. The border collie mix was shot with a pistol Tuesday, April 3, around 5 p.m., on Robinson Road.
—Man in his 30s or 40s.
—Wearing wide-brim camouflage hat, reflective vest, tan khaki shorts and what appeared to be clip-on sunglasses
—Riding a dark gray mountain bike
—Possibly seen April 4 near the Wares’ residence in an older green Chrysler van with fog lights. The van was driven by a woman with salt and pepper hair.
Call the Rockingham County Sheriff’s office at 564-3800 or Sgt. Mike Hardesty at 830-3963.