Chris and Tanya Meyer of Rome, Wisconsin adopted a chocolate Labrador from the Adams County Humane Society last year and named her Zoey. While Meyer was expecting her now 6-month-old daughter, Zoey wanted to stay near her and then by the baby after she was born. Zoey loved to be petted and rolled around so much that, Meyer says, she taught her baby to roll over.
When Zoey did not return from a ramble in the woods with their other dog, Maggie, on October 25, the Meyers were worried. Rome is a small Wisconsin town in a forested area that is often used as hunting grounds. Chris Meyer went looking for her, his wife recounts. On asking some hunting neighbors, their response was “well, we saw her this morning and threw some sticks at ‘em because they were bothering us in our tree stand but we haven’t seen them since.”
On October 28, Meyer found a lifeless Zoey with an arrow through her neck. She was 30 feet away from a hunter’s stand on a neighbor’s property.
Rome Police Department and the Adams County sheriff’s office are investigating what happened to Zoey. The Meyers have their own idea about how Zoey died:
Meyer believes Zoey was killed with the arrow Friday, then dragged into the neighbor’s yard. She said she asked the neighbors, who come to the area on weekends to hunt, whether they had seen Zoey, and they said no. She said she would not identify them until the police investigation was over.
“To take the arrow out of her and to continue to hunt all weekend long, I just don’t have words for it. It sickens me,” Meyer said. “I never thought people in the world were like this.”
As Tanya Meyer says, she is not opposed to hunting. But she contends that the hunter or hunters who killed Zoey should lose their licenses. “For somebody that can do something like this, it’s evil and it’s cruel. You took our dog, you took our baby,” Meyer says.
The Meyers buried Zoey on Monday with a stick, as she loved to play fetch. They also created a Facebook page, Justice for Zoey. Within a few days, people from Europe, Iceland, Japan and elsewhere were sending in words of support and sympathy and posting photos of their own pets who had died. Some people have changed their profile photo to one of Zoey, to spread awareness about her unnecessary death.
Tanya Meyer emphasizes that “we’re not looking for handouts or money or anything. We just want our healing to be done and over with and to kind of move on.”
Breeders and others have offered the Meyers another dog. Meyer says that the loss of Zoey is just too fresh to contemplate doing so. As Meyer notes of Zoey, her infant daughter “just loved her, and they had this special bond.”
Seek justice for Zoey and sign the petition to demand that whoever killed her with an arrow lose their hunting license.
Photo via Justice For Zoey