Family’s missing dog found dead in trash bag along road

Family's missing dog found in a trash bag
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It is a heartbreaking end to a Virginia family’s search for their missing dog. According to KFOR News, Ranger, a four-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, disappeared on March 3 from his home in Isle of Wight County.

Hayden Coats had hoped that his dog had simply ventured off to explore a nearby swamp, but his mother found the dog’s body in a trash bag, tossed in a ditch, a few days after Ranger disappeared; the dog appeared to have been shot.

The Isle Of Wight County Animal Shelter has reached out to the public for help in finding out who is behind the shooting. On March 7, the shelter reached out to its Facebook followers with a request for information:

Animal Control is seeking help from our citizens in locating any leads to help bring closure for a family who has lost their dog-Ranger. The dog originally reported missing Saturday was located near the intersection of Reynolds Drive and Nike Park Road Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately Ranger was found in a trash bag on the side of the road deceased with potential gun shot wounds.

According to the shelter, weather elements prevented officials from retrieving any evidence from the bag that the dog was found in. The dog’s collar was discovered approximately a half mile from where the dog was dumped.

The shelter wrote:

Officers are diligently searching out any leads to anyone who may have witnessed this dog during his disappearance from Saturday March 3rd to Tuesday March 6th. This can help us determine an appropriate timeline of the whereabouts of Ranger.


We understand that sometimes when dogs are off the property of their owners they can act out of character that can make any person unfamiliar with dogs or behavior could act in self defense. Ranger was a large chocolate Lab wearing a bright orange collar with name plate.

In an effort to bring closure to Ranger’s family, the shelter is asking that anyone who heard gunshots (within the Carrollton/ Eagle Harbor/ Nike Park area) during the time that Ranger was missing reach out to Animal Control at 757-365-6318 or email [email protected] with information.

More news and updates at the National Animal News Facebook page

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  1. Really they think this was unintentional! Then why did the people who did this try to hide the dog’s body and destroy the evidence?

  2. Big man with a gun. If the dog was on your property,acting aggressively (which I doubt), should have called police to get the dog. Not take your gun out and shoot the dog. Cruel, heartless and cowardly scum who did this. Hope police find out who did this.

  3. RIP Ranger. I have a hard time believing someone shot Ranger out of self defense. I have a chocolate Lab and have friends with Labs and one thing about this breed, they are not aggressive. The POS who killed Ranger, did it out of badness and should be punished.

  4. My heart goes out to this family. I hope and pray they find the POS that would kill a dog like this, they deserve to rot in jail!

  5. I KNOW EXACTLY how The poor family feels and grieves for the loss of Ranger…and Yes NO Matter How Damn Careful the majority of US who love our pets unconditionally there has been incidents of Escape , with malice to anyone or not being conscience. I had a little 12 pound beagle run past me out my front door, full force, chasing after two black labs running across our four acres… as fast as I could get to my truck I was in pursuit to no avail. I called the Sheriff’s department, newspaper, and drove around to after 10 pm in the total dark. Bing had a large florescent Name tag with my and the vet’s # . The next morning I was out looking when the phone rang and 5/10th of a mile down the road the newspaper boy called me a informed me that he found Bing dead at the man’s house whose 2 labs (on in heat ) lived!!! What a total bastard, I went and got my little guy, and in a distraught fashion offered to make it possible for this individual to have a knee replacement…and because of the laws in our state I had no recourse… At ALL.. the Higher Power took care of the matter for me as several months later this Puke went in the hospital for minor surgery And Died of a massive Heart Attack. KARMA>>>

  6. Hayden Coats allowed Ranger to roam and this is the end result – some asshole with a gun shot and killed him and then dumped him like garbage. Sorry, if Ranger’s owners had any brain cells they would never have allowed him to roam freely and not expect some jerk to use him as target practice. Once again, this is human irresponsibility that Ranger paid the price for. May the scum suck who murdered Ranger get their just dues – be found rotting in a plastic bag on the side of the road.

    • They live in a rural area on a property where Ranger has room to roam. He was also on his front porch right before he disappeared (reading other articles sometimes helps).

      This isn’t THEIR fault, and blaming them, NOT THE KILLER, is just wrong.

  7. Any time a dog is killed like this, the FIRST people to look at are the neighbors, because I will guarantee that one of them did it. It usually isn’t very hard to figure out which one did it, either, and someone certainly knows who. I hope they find the bastard and that person gets what he deserves. They might even find out that Ranger didn’t roam, but was LED OUT by his killer.


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