Momentum is growing across the globe in support of family of the rescued dog killed by a neighbor and “Justice for Toby” campaign by way of petitioning, writing letters, sending emails, and commenting on various social media sites.
Toby was a starving puppy rescued from a burning trash pit in war torn Afghanistan by a U.S. Army Captain. Soldiers nourished, named and nursed the dog that they found to be especially gentle and friendly. Toby became a symbol of love and solace for many soldiers and after hundreds of people raised thousands of dollars, the dog was welcomed to the United States. Toby found a loving family in a secure and spacious yard at a good home in Texas merely to be shot and killed by a neighbor on April 12, 2014.
When Rachel Ries, Toby’s owner, heard the shots from her next door neighbor’s gun she was frightened because her boys were outside that evening.
“I ran out and saw our Toby laying in my son’s arms in our back yard,” said Rie. “He was bleeding and died in his arms.”
Knowing her fence and yard was secure, Ries remembered her neighbor, Mike Coulter, had threatened one of her boys on February 22 indicating he was going to shoot “that white dog.”
Ries went next door to talk to Coulter about that incident, she describe him as acting strange and kept mentioning that she was not easy to talk to because she “always wears a military uniform when you are coming home or leaving for work.”
After 911 was called, Ries went to find Coulter.
“When I approached him and asked him why he shot our dog, he completely denied it,” Ries recalled. “But he finally admitted he killed Toby when the deputy arrived and started asking him questions.”
“The deputy agreed with us that he could smell alcohol on Coulter’s breath,” Ries added. “We were so shocked and it was so hard to believe he would do this to such a friendly dog.”
While many residents of small town of La Vernia, a community 30 minutes southeast of San Antonio, are concerned Wilson Country law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office may not take the killing of Toby seriously, citizens are getting support from unexpected places. Correspondence from as far away as Norway, United Kingdom, Italy and Australia has reached various "Justice For Toby" related social media sites. Even Gretchen Carlson of Fox News posted about Toby on her Facebook page.
Local television news stations CBS affiliate KENS-5 and ABC's KSAT-12 have recently aired reports on the killing of Toby.
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Below is a sample of some of the correspondence coming to Justice For Toby, the petition site, and the Examiner.