Owner of dog found shot dead grateful for community support

What you need to know: Wednesday

The owner of Bo, a German shepherd found shot and killed Wednesday morning, said Thursday she’s grateful for support after community members raised thousands of dollars toward a reward in the dog’s death.

Sarah Crist said she believes someone dognapped Bo from her family’s home in the town of Willow Springs, outside of Darlington, on Feb. 6. Crist said she was running errands at the time and when she returned, she found Bo’s collar unbuckled with Bo nowhere to be found.

On Wednesday morning, someone found Bo shot, killed and left in a ditch near the intersection of Buckwheat Ridge and Cannon roads in the town of Ellenboro, located around 30 miles away in Grant County.

That afternoon, the Justice for Bo Facebook page was set up, and in less than 24 hours, businesses and individuals donated nearly $5,000 to a reward fund through the page. Crist said she is extremely grateful for all the support.

“It’s really quite unbelievable,” Crist said. “For people that know us, our friends, family and people that don’t even know us that have reached out or just to share their condolences or have donated, is just very overwhelming to us that Bo has touched so many people.”

Crist said while saying goodbye to Bo has been hard, she hopes something good comes out of Bo’s disappearance and death, which is part of a wider investigation into a recent rash of reported dognappings across southwest Wisconsin.

“(Bo) is going to be the person, the animal, the reason why these people are going to get caught,” Crist said. “Or we’ll find out what is really going on in our communities, and why people are doing such horrible things to our friends and our animals, because they are part of our lives.”

Crist said the donations show the true face of the community.

“It’s really remarkable that people are so generous and so caring and you know that there are so many good people that are in this world and in our communities,” Crist said. “Sometimes that gets lost, because we only hear about the bad, and even though this is really hard, something good is going to come out of this, and Bo is going to help these other families.”

Crist said she hopes the reward motivates someone to come forward with knowledge of what happened to Bo and other stolen dogs in the area.

“I hope that whoever harmed him and is harming other animals is found, and whatever is justice by the law is what they get,” Crist said. “I believe in karma, and these people will get what they have coming. I just hope that it stops and other families don’t have to go through what we’re going through.”

The reward fund has been set up at the First National Bank at Darlington. Organizers said checks should be made out to “Justice for Bo” and mailed to:

First National Bank at Darlington
P.O. Box 50
Darlington, WI 53530

Crist said the Animal Legal Defense Fund has shown interest in the case and could put forth its own reward for information on Bo’s killer.

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating Bo’s disappearance and death. Law enforcement agencies have asked residents to be on the lookout for a blue SUV, which is the only information connecting several reports across Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties, and to report any suspicious behavior to authorities.