GALATIA -- A family living near in the Harco area says a neighbor shot their dog from a moving horse-drawn buggy in front of their home.
Saturday, some members of the Walker family living on Brown Road heard the sound of a buggy going past their house. It's not an unusual sound, according to Hillary Walker, because several of their neighbors are Amish.
"We've always gotten along really good with our neighbors," Walker says. "I've taken ice cream to some of their kids in the summertime, or sometime frozen grapes."
In addition, she said, one Amish neighbor has brought Walker's family firewood in the past.
This Saturday, though, was not a neighborly visit.
Walker's 8-year-old daughter was looking outside through the glass of the front porch door, and Walker and her aunt also were looking out. A couple of their dogs were in the yard, and barked as the buggy rolled past, which Walker also said is not unusual.
"They bark, and they'll sometimes run behind the buggies, but they don't bother the horses," Walker said. "I think sometimes they'd bark at their own shadow on a dark night."
However, Walker, her aunt and her daughter were shocked when the man laid the reins down, stood up, pulled out a pistol and shot Sadi, the Walkers' blue heeler.
"It rolled her into the ditch. My daughter saw it all, and she went ballistic, screaming and crying," Walker said.
"He just reached under his jacket and pulled out a gun like he was in some kind of Western," her aunt, Sandy Rone, said.
Sadi had been shot in the head, and after bringing the dog back to the house to care for it, Walker called 911 as she pursued the shooter. When she located him and confronted him about shooting the dog, she said the neighbor offered to buy the dog.
"I told her she's family, and you can't put a price on family," Walker said.
When a Saline County Sheriff's Deputy arrived and spoke to the man, he offered money to pay for veterinary bills, Walker said. He also signed a document saying he would accept responsibility for additional vet bills resulting from him shooting the dog.
A report of the incident was unavailable Tuesday afternoon. An attempt to locate the neighbor was unsuccessful.
Walker said she doesn't know what charges, if any, may come from the incident, but she remains upset about the circumstances.
"That bullet could have ricocheted and killed my daughter, or it could have hit one of us," she said. "You don't just go shooting animals out of a moving vehicle, and I told him that."
Walker said she's never received any complaints about her dogs from any neighbor, and if she had, she would have taken action. She was surprised when the neighbor defended his actions, saying Sadi "was a yapper" and that Walker's dogs have caused numerous buggies to run into the nearby ditch and tip over.
"I've lived here 17 years, and I don't know of that ever happening," Walker said. "If one of their buggies flipped over out here, I'd be out there trying to help them. Especially if it was one of the covered ones that might have children in it."
She also said the incident doesn't reflect on the neighboring Amish community.
"This was the action of one individual. We've never had a problem before," she said.
In the meantime, she continues to care for Sadi as the dog recovers. The wound required a drainage tube, and Walker is administering antibiotics. Initially, the dog had swelling on her brain, but it has gone down some. Still, even as she wags her tail when Walker gently pets her, her front paws appear to shake with mild tremors.