A Colorado woman’s trip to a park with her beloved Australian shepherd quickly turned into a nightmare on Jan. 5.
The woman — who asked not to be identified — adopted Sydney when she was a 3-month-old puppy. She took her to the park every day after work and the two became inseparable.
She took Sydney to Penstemon Park in Colorado Springs for a game of catch. Although it is banned in Colorado Springs, she let the dog off her leash in the park.
“We were just playing ball in the park,” she told KKTV .
As Sydney and her owner tossed the ball around, the owner noticed a man walking along a nearby sidewalk.
“I thought to myself, ‘I should probably grab her (Sydney) just in case,’ but by that time she had noticed him already and started jogging towards him with her ball still in her mouth to greet him.”
What happened next left Sydney’s owner in shock.
“Before I had a chance to get her to come back to me, he pulled out a gun and shot her … several times,” she said.
She rushed over to her dog but it was too late. Sydney’s injuries were just too severe and she died at the park.
The owner described Sydney as a “very happy dog” who was full of life.
“She wouldn’t (hurt anyone). She’s a very friendly dog, she loves to greet everybody, she loves to say ‘hi’ to everybody,” she added. “I just wish if he (the shooter) was afraid of dogs, that I would have had the chance to let him know.
“I just wish that he would have been able to know that she wasn't going to cause him any harm.”
Sydney’s killer is still at large and the dog owner did not get a good look at the suspect. Police are currently investigating the matter and are asking anyone who might have witnessed the shooting to provide information.
The suspect could be facing charges of reckless endangerment for illegally discharging a firearm within city limits.
Sydney's owner is still grieving the loss of her trusted companion.
“She has helped me through a lot of rough times in my life and has always been there for me.... It’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m still trying to process that,” she said. “It’s been hard and frightening when you see something like that happen to somebody, whether it be a dog or a (person) that you care about.
“I just wish he (the shooter) had known that she was a good dog.”