ONLY ON 3: Man searches for his dog’s killer

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Submitted: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:16pm
Updated: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 5:33pm

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man is searching for the driver who killed his dog and nearly ran him over too during a Christmas evening walk.

Daryl Staggs says he was walking his dog on watts landing road in Hampstead Christmas night when a driver in a blue truck drove over the center line, hitting, and killing the dog. And Staggs says the truck came within 6 inches of hitting him as well.

“I was walking on the left-hand side of the road, when I heard a vehicle approaching from behind me. I turned to look, and I noticed that truck coming across the center line over toward where I was walking my dog at.”

Daryl Staggs says he quickly stepped backwards into a ditch, hurting his knee, but his dog, at the end of a four-foot leash was hit.

“First thing I do was jump out of the ditch and ran to my dog, and I noticed there was no blood coming out of his mouth or anything, so I thought he might actually live,” Staggs said. “So I picked him up and ran the rest of the way home with him. About the time I got him home, inside the door there, was about the time he looked at me and took his last breath.”

Staggs rescued Ratt two and a half years ago and in that short time he says the ten-pound dog quickly became his best friend.

“I’ve never had any children, so that dog was like the only child I’ve ever had,” Staggs explained. “He was my baby boy. He was like my son.”

Staggs says he immediately called the police. He says a Surf City police officer was the first to arrive.

“He said that there was nothing he could do about it, because it was just a dog. And to me it’s not just a dog. That was the only friend I had really. He was my buddy,” Staggs said.

He says about two hours later Pender County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and also told him there was nothing they could do. But now Staggs says the deputies have no record of ever having responded.

We spoke to Captain Billy Sanders of the Pender County Sheriff’s office who says they did respond but were not able to make a report at the time. He says deputies asked Staggs to call back the next day.

Sanders could not verify whether or not Staggs called back but they did say they would be more than happy to assist him in filing a report.

Staggs says he just wants an apology and an explanation. He asks whoever is responsible to do the right thing, and come forward.


  • Guestie says:

    Methinks Guest7969 doth protest too much.

    I’m starting to wonder if Guest7969 might be the individual who ran over the poor dog and killed it.

  • Guestie says:

    I have so, so, so very much to say on this subject.

    There’s no way to “keep it brief”.

    First of all, my sympathies to this man whose dog was struck and killed. Three years ago this month, a man was driving down the street, and struck my dog, and could have killed her, and he kept going!!!!! Barely stopped. I ran up to his car and banged on the trunk. He got out of the car long enough to tell me he didn’t speak English, and that “oh, I don’t know” when it was very obvious to him what he did, by the fact that he looked over at my dog and was very embarrassed-looking on his face.

    He got back in his car and just drove off. Never saw his car again. My dog lived, but she could have very easily died.

    All my sympathies go out to you, sir. I know how a dog is very much family. Some people don’t get that because they are cold to animals and small children and thus to society in general.

    I hope you will find this perpetrator and get justice for your pain!!!!! Bless you, sir.

    Now, as to the comments people make in times of pain … in the first place, I will address the “cheer up, it could have been worse” comments people always make at these times. Comments like those are very, very unresponsive to the deep pain someone goes through when they have a very personal and heartbreaking loss.

    Phrases like “I understand how you feel”, or “it could have been worse”, or “you should look on the bright side, at least your dog didn’t spontaneously combust on a hot summer day”, or “well, at least your dog didn’t live long enough for it to get cancer, and you to have to watch it die a slow agonizing death” do very little to address the pain that actually IS … not the pain that COULD have been but is not.

    See what I mean?

    It’s a waste of time to discuss what DIDN’T happen, to avoid addressing what DID happen.

    The dog DID die. But rather than talk about that, we talk about “well, at least your dog wasn’t kidnapped and thrown off a 59-story building, then ran over by a city bus!!!”

    What do those imaginary scenarios matter? Why can’t we just talk about what ACTUALLY happened? Sure, it’s nice that the dog didn’t float out to sea, and get used as fish bait by some 80-tentacle giant squid, only to be caught in an oncoming violent wind, to be sucked down in a maelstrom and then be lost forever in some watery grave, but what does that matter to how the dog actually DID die?

    And as far as the person who hit this dog, hey, lots and lots and lots of people drive around Wilmington like they’re on crack, so why would they care about a little dog?

    They cut you off, and try daily to kill at least 8,379 people from the comfort of their speaker-on-wheels while they’re looking at YouTube and Facebook on their phones. Then they give you the finger after just cutting you off.

    They’re the ones who complain about turn signals.

    Here are the two reasons why they complain.

    1. “You didn’t use a turn signal when turning!!!!!!!!”

    Translate: “I actually had to slow down and not go 928 miles an hour on College Road, and I actually had to put on my brakes, you $#%&$%*$#^, so I’m going to wave my hands at you and give you the death-look as I go by you, because God forbid someone should interfere with me following too closely, as I try to push you out of my path, on my way to the next red light!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    2. “You didn’t use a turn signal when changing lanes!!!!!!”

    Translate: “I’m a jerk, and if you had used your turn signal, I would have sped up to cut you off from passing, and you didn’t give me any notice to be able to cut you off. You know I RULE THIS LANE!!!!!!! Who are you to *DARE* not use your turn signal so I can speed up and administer justice on your sorry butt to prevent you from taking control of this lane away from me!!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?????????????? These roads belong to me!!!! I paid for them!!! Who are you to challenge my Divine Right?????”

    Should it surprise us that people will hit and kill and dog, and flee, when they won’t even give basic road courtesies to human beings?????

    Why are we shocked at a story like this, when people sit there on the side road, and wait til the last possible minute to pull out, and only when it is deadly UNsafe to go, then they pull out in front of you, going when they should have stayed, meanwhile, all the time before that, they stayed when they should have gone into the opening in traffic they actually had.

    I think many many people in Wilmington are calloused, cold-hearted people who would rather make it first to McDonald’s for their ice coffee frappalappacremamochalattiattoccino than think about their fellow human beings.

    It’s no surprise to me that someone hit and killed this poor man’s dog and then took off.

    Why is it no surprise? Because everyday they cut YOU off and push YOU off the road and take YOUR spot in the lane and make YOU miss your turn … and then take off.

    So why would these cold-blooded jerks care about a little ten-pound dog, when they would gladly kill PEOPLE to get it?

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    look me up, 2045 Watts Landing RD.
    Daryl Staggs on Facebook also

  • DogLover says:

    I am not amazed anymore on the countless things people believe and not believe from the scriptures because they are too lazy to read it and will take their preachers or denominations’ word for it. It’s in there plain as day. Search for it with the desire to find truth rather than to protect your pride.

    Even if you were not a Christian this is a loved pet that was killed by the irresponsible actions of another. Who in their right mind would try to minimize and ridicule the tragic loss of someone’s dear pet unless they had evil in their heart and for their own evil entertainment go around trolling in comment sections.

  • guest7969 says:

    ^^^^ why I remain anonymous. …

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    Thank You, Whether My dog had a Soul or not does not matter, this crime affected me because he was my best friend, This evil act affected MY SOUL

  • Beth says:

    Animals may not have souls, but that doesn’t mean that god doesn’t care about animals any less than humans. The Bible says God knows when a sparrow falls. He knows and sees all. I don’t think that verse would be there if he didn’t care. To the person who lost his dog, if it is any consolation I firmly believe you will see your baby in heaven. There have been reports of near death experiences where the person saw not only saw long lost family members, but cherished long lost pets.

  • DogLover says:

    I pray for peace in your heart to ease the suffering of losing Ratt.

    I had 2 dogs many many years ago hit by cars and still remember the pain.

    They are irreplaceable. I believe they take on alot of our own personality along with their own temperment.

    I hope the driver of the truck is reading and seeks forgiveness and even
    if they don’t turn their selves in to the authorities shows their sincerity by rescueing other dogs like Ratt, donating time or money to a shelter.

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    Daryl Staggs@

  • Guest7969 says:

    I tried to look up your number in the Burgaw white pages…for some reason Bilbo Burgaw isn’t listed?…Cowardly Anonymity…ABSOLUTELY…to hide from NUT jobs like yourself. Yes, I would sacrifice my pet even for YOUR life…1 million times over! Because I hold your life 1 MILLION times above that of an animal.

  • lonetraveler says:

    but you are stating that someone else is cowardly for not lisitng their name???? Really? I guess that means that you, sir, are the Cowardly Anonymity POS posting about killing your pet to help someone else. I really hope that you do not own a pet and really wonder if you drive a blue truck and travel in Hampstead. I actually hope that this man finds the piece of scum who ventured across the center line to kill his pet and almost himself. I know that I would want to find this POS and I also know that he would most likely wish that his mother had drowned him at birth.

  • guest7969 says:

    If you would stop to READ, maybe HIS/HER response to mine. . you would see why I responded the way I did…

  • Angela Yeagher says:

    This is so heartbreaking!!! I feel soooo bad for the man and his beloved pet! I can’t even explain how horrible this is. I hope they find the person that did this. And I am so sorry for your loss :(

  • Bob says:

    What Kind Of truck? Make Model Stickers anything?

  • Guest7969 says:

    made so far are the EXACT reason I would keep on getting it as well. I’m not going to stop after running over an animal to get in a fist fight with someone who thinks its their child. Sorry, it IS “JUST A DOG”. I know people like to make them “people”, but I would throw my dog in the middle of traffic to safe ANY human life…PERIOD! You’re also taking this guys story at face value without asking if he was REALLY on the opposite side of the road and not walking down the street where he shouldn’t have been. Always two sides to a story.

    I also like the way WWAY tries to humanize the dog saying the man is looking for his dogs “KILLER”!

  • bilbo burgaw says:

    Wow Guest7969 you must be a real hoot to hang out with. No I’m not one of the people who try and make dogs out to be people, they are far superior in almost every way. They ask for nearly nothing and give everything, companionship, humor, and unconditional love. So you sir or madam hiding behind your cowardly anonymity are proof positive why I’ll take a dog over the vast majority of people any day! I think there’s a reason DOG is God spelled backwards and if there is any topic which cuts across all political, religious, and cultural lines it is the love of animals. You really are a reprehensible scumbag.

  • Guest1851658 says:

    Well, 7969, you are a real work of some kind of “art”. As for getting into a fist fight, if you ran over my dog purposely, you would face something far more lethal than a fist.

  • Rusty says:

    Well I can only conclude you have never had the loving companionship of a dog in your life and that is almost as sad as his loss. Yes I would sacrifice a dog to save a human (Although I don’t know why.. dogs act better than humans nowdays). JUST a DOG well guess what; I don’t have kids or want them so if a child gets killed I could say “Just a Kid” who cares? (No I’m not that crass but the point is there).

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    I am the one who’s pet was “killed” and yes thats what it is. I would also put an animal before any humans life. If my version of the story is not completely correct, why is nobody taking responsibility? I was there, and I know where the truck lives that Killed My best friend and almost hit me I do not know who was driving that truck that night, and nobody will admit. This Was a Completely Malicious Crime!!!

  • Beth says:

    That you could just hit an animal and just go your merry way speaks volumes about your “character.” I too am disturbed at owners who just allow their pets to wander unleashed as it puts them in extreme unnecessary danger. Still, that doesn’t give you the right to just to hit and run. I could give two flips about what the law says. If I hit an animal I would stop and try to render aid if it was safe to do so. My heart breaks when I see an animal dead on the side of the road. Tossed out no doubt by people like you who see animals as disposabal once they are deemed no longer “cute.” People like you are part of the problem. Don’t have animals. They don’t deserve you.

  • KT says:

    What a horrible thing to happen to any of us who love our pets. I cannot believe that any one would say “There’s nothing I can do. It’s JUST a dog!” I am so very sorry, Mr Staggs that your companion was killed and that you had to have such a cruel human respond to your call for help.

  • Debb says:

    So sad….can’t believe the driver, since he was on the wrong side of the road, won’t even be served with a citation for reckless driving.

  • Dar says:

    It took the news coming out for this poor man who watched his buddy (dog) get killed intentionally for the cops to response in a way. The report should have been taken right then and there. This just shows the concern Pender County Police care. If the man had not looked he probably would have be hit as well. Everyone knows how cold he was that night, in my eyes the police should have checked the truck further for at least some evidence instead of just taking the mans word. A horrible action again in Pender that will not get resolved. So sorry Mr. Staggs for your loss. Animal lovers are outraged over this. Election time will come. Maybe and I hope you get justice in some way.

  • Guestomfg says:

    YES there is something that can be done ! A dog is personal property and whoever ran over him was obviously drunk !! I am SO SORRY for this mans loss and to have it happen in such a way is HORRIBLE !! I am glad the little dog wasnt alone when he died and his master loved him.

  • Guest-of-the-day says:

    “Yawn! Come on bud, it’s Christmas day. I’m not filling out any reports… besides, it’s only a dog.”

  • DogLover says:

    Sir, Sorry for your loss and also I apologize for the insensitive evil comments posted here and the unprofessional behavior and practice of the police involved.

    You were almost killed by a likely drunk driver who did kill you beloved friend and the police can’t even take a report??

    All living things have a soul and are important to God as I have read this in the scriptures many times after reading the Bible 4 times now.

    God Bless Ratt \_/O\_/

  • Guest7969 says:

    You are incorrect, only humans have..souls. Don’t try to confuse the difference between humans and our beloved pets…why do you think police officers put dogs between them and the bad guys…

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    Thank You for your concern, God Bless You and Yours

  • Guest7969 says:

    as the only sane poster here, am GLAD this guy didn’t get killed along with his dog. Thank GOD it was the dog and not the guy, it could have easily been the other way around. The dog, while I’m sure it was loved, is replaceable. The owners life, is NOT.

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    Thank You

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    Blue pick-up, nissan or toyota, lives 2 blocks away from me, police will not interview the owners and told me that “nothing better happen to that truck” The driver could have been one of 4 people I feel that they should be charged with attempted murder among so many other charges. THEY TOOK MY BEST FRIEND AND PENDER COUNTY SAYS IT’S ALLRIGHT.

  • Ratt Dogg says:

    I was walking my dog on a 4 ft. leash when this happened, the truck came all the way across the road to kill my dog I don’t believe in people just letting their pets run wild myself. Almost 3 years ago smebody threw this dog out on the end of my dead end rd. He has been very well taken care of until this irresponsible act. By the way, Pender County Sheriffs Knew Where the truck in question was the same night, but will still do nothing.

  • Guest7969 says:

    did you just…Hmmm..Did you just compare the life of a CHILD to that of a dog?!…WOWZERS!

  • Guest7969 says:

    You make my point, THANK YOU!

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