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"Gut wrenching", "vile": Owner's anger after dog walk has horrific consequences

Ruby the Cocker Spaniel dog-angry
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A dog owner has been left distraught and furious after what should have been just a usual dog walk turned into a nightmare and police hunt. With the help of social media, his story is being heard, and the culprit is being actively searched.

By Zoe Monk , 24 Sep 2019

Rory Brown had taken his brother Dom’s beloved canine pal Ruby out for a walk one evening around a field near their home in Crich, Derbyshire. He let the 18-month-old Cocker Spaniel off the lead so she could have a runabout.

But no one could have expected what happened next.

Sound of a gunshot

Ruby ran into a bush and moments later Rory heard the sound of a gunshot. Worried about the dog, Rory rushed over to see if she was OK. A young man appeared who said to Rory, “I think I’ve shot your dog”.

Rory told the Metro that the young man began apologising but he didn’t have time to listen as he was focused on getting Ruby to the vet as soon as possible.

Devastatingly, Ruby died before Rory could get her to the vet.

“Happiest dog in the world”

It is suspected that Ruby, described as the “happiest dog in the world”, was killed because she was mistaken for a fox.

Ruby’s owner Dom has been left distraught and angry by the sudden loss of his dog. He criticised those who shoot wild animals without good reason or just simply, for fun.

He said: “It’s gut-wrenching. We’re totally heartbroken because we’re always in and always at home so we spent so much time with her. Basically, our lives revolved around her.

“She’d always want to be out walking or playing with her toys in the house. She was the happiest dog I’ve ever seen.”

“Irreparable loss”

Dom added that he would: 'do anything' to spend a bit more time with Ruby and said the loss was ‘irreparable.’

“She was my reason to get up in the morning and she was everything to me and my family and now she’s just gone. ‘You can’t just replace a dog, can you? She was like a human to me. ‘Within the space of 15 minutes she’s gone. I didn’t have the choice to put her down or spend a last few minutes with her. ‘I’d do anything just to spend a bit more time with her.”

Social media anger

The story has been widely shared on social media, with some Facebook users branding the shooter as "cruel" and "vile", while another posted: "He shouldn't have been shooting any animal, wild or otherwise".


Dom Brown has been left heartbroken after his beloved 18 month old Cocker Spaniel, Ruby, was shot dead when out for a...

Posted by Charlie Sionnach on Sunday, September 22, 2019

Meanwhile, under a photo of Ruby, one poster said: "Rest in sweet peace, Ruby. I am so sad and sorry and angry this happened to your sweet pup".

A human could have been killed

Dom’s brother Rory who had taken Ruby out for the walk on that fateful evening spoke of how he doesn’t understand why people shoot any animals. He pointed out that whoever shot Ruby could have very easily killed a human by mistake.

He said: “He literally had no reason to shoot her. She wasn’t causing harm to anyone or bothering anything. She was just having fun in the field."

“For me he was an inexperienced lad with an extremely powerful weapon that could have killed somebody. You know what kids are like with dogs. I see families walking their dogs on that field all the time. ‘Kids are best friends with dogs, they could have been playing in the bush with that dog. It could have hit them."

Police Investigation

Derbyshire Police are investigating the shooting, but so far no arrests have been made.

Rory added: “At the end of the day he’s got an extremely powerful gun and in my opinion, he’s quite clearly not very good at using it. It’s very reckless.”