To the editor:
Early on the morning of Nov. 12, my companion, Copper, was shot in the head with a 12 G slug from 20 yards. Vehicle tracks in the fresh snow, the empty shell lying on the snow-covered gravel road, homeward bound paw prints and red blood told the story like a well-written book. Copper made it the half mile home after his routine of following my car went terribly wrong. His jaw was completely shattered. He was euthanized after much suffering.
We didn't lose a dog that morning; we lost our family member - the playmate to our children, the barker at strange cars, the guardian of our poultry and livestock. Copper protected us and our land from dangers both human and animal. Ironically, this tragedy came exactly two years after Jake was needlessly killed in a conibear 220 body gripping trap set dangerously close to my home in our township road ditch.
Hunters, trappers and outdoorsmen, you should be outraged by these incidents. Copper was shot from a gravel road; the gunman never left his vehicle. He dumped the spent shell on the road. This is illegal, unethical and sick. What if this was your dog? Both my faithful companions were killed needlessly by people acting with disregard for laws and codes of ethics. They took our given right to hunt/trap and abused it. Our country's founding fathers gave us the "right to bear arms" to protect ourselves, preserve liberty and secure food - not target practice, not kill people's pets.
Tracey Westegaard-Gunlogson, DVM