James and Veronica Woodruff couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw "who cares" scrawled across posters and placards asking for help in identifying the person who shot their Samoyed puppy.
"We just couldn’t believe it when we saw this," said Veronica, a former president of the naturalist club. "I am really mad with this attitude that I am getting from people. For someone to write ‘who cares’ across a poster, that is terrible. What kind of mentality does this type of thing show?"
The Woodruffs’ eight-and-a-half month old puppy Silva was allegedly shot by a hunter in the Mackenzie Basin Road area near Pemberton last Saturday.
The couple, Silva and their black lab Chilko were mountain bike riding on "Overnight Sensation" when they heard the rifle shot that killed their dog. Now they are offering a reward for information about who put a bullet through their dog’s chest.
"You come to the table with the information and I will come up with the cash," said James Woodruff, who spent most of last Sunday putting up posters and large placards warning people to beware of hunters and offering the reward.
RCMP Const. Devon Jones said the police were following several leads and had seized the bullet from the dog.
"We have interviewed several hunters, but there is no one suspect at the moment," said Jones, at a press conference Monday.
Veronica Woodruff said she was unaware that the area was a popular place to hunt when she went riding there last weekend.
"If I had had any inkling that there was the remotest chance of this happening I never would have gone there," she said.
Indeed, the trails which traverse the area between Mosquito Creek and the glider launch site, off the Mackenzie Basin logging road, travel through some of the best deer hunting territory in the area.
Woodruff said they ran into a hunter at the head of the trail and he said their dogs were going to disturb the game for hunters. But, she said, the couple didn’t think anything of the comment at the time. Not long after they heard a shot. When they called for Silva she did not return.
An hour later James found her cold and blood soaked body in a ditch off the MacKenzie Basin Road.
"Every time I think of her I just flash to finding her with blood all over her, her legs in the air, and her tongue hanging out," he said, clearly distressed.
At the time nearby residents said they saw a taupe pickup truck with two older men in it. But so far neither the hunters nor the truck have been located.