Texas family devastated after beloved dog shot in head, left in ditch

U.S. and World

Hank and Tony Rysdyke’s son, Stetson. Hank was found in a ditch with a gunshot wound to the head in late February, and the family is trying to find out who did it. (Photo courtesy of Tony Rysdyke)

LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — A Texas family is pleading for answers after their five-year-old dog was found dead in a ditch a few miles from their Williamson County home in late February.

Tony Rysdyke said his family’s dog, Hank, was shot in the head and left in a ditch either the night of Feb. 24 or early in the morning of Feb. 25. Rysdyke said he got a call with the awful news Feb. 26.

“He was our family,” Rysdyke said. “We had a litter of puppies five years ago, and we have the mother of Hank and his sister. He was five years and a day old when he was found dead.”

The family went to Arkansas for a snow goose hunt Feb. 24, Rysdyke said, and Hank stayed behind under the watchful eyes of neighbors. When they went to check on Hank and the family’s other dogs the next night, they noticed Hank was gone. Rysdyke said Hank was known to jump over the fence and wander up and down the street, but either someone would let him back in the yard or Hank would wait at the gate for Rysdyke to get home from work — as many dogs do.

Rysdyke posted about the incident on Facebook, and he said one of his neighbors heard a bunch of dogs barking around 9:30 p.m. Feb. 24 on Round Up Drive. The neighbor reported hearing one gunshot, and then “all went silent,” Rysdyke said.

River Road, where the dog was found, is north of Round Up Drive and west of the North Fork of the San Gabriel River.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said it’s investing the case with patrol deputies and animal control officers, but they don’t have any suspects or persons of interest yet.

Rysdyke said he’s offering a $2,000 reward to anyone who knows who shot Hank.

In a Facebook post, Rysdyke thanked everyone who helped look for Hank.

“Y’all’s love is indescribable,” he wrote. “He was a helluva dog.”

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