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Green Pond's Rusty Rooster Mascot Shot by Stranger

It all started Memorial Day weekend.

That's when someone apparently abandoned their rooster at Green Pond Landing & Events Center. But in the days ahead the bird became cock of the walk at the facility on Hartwell Lake.

Almost anyone who launched a boat over the summer has either seen or heard the bird, who was Christened "Rusty" almost from the start, in and around Green Pond. 

Rusty's biggest supporter was one Sharon Nicometo, one of the folks in charge of the parks and head of the Anderson County Farmers Market. 

"I started taking him scratch in the morning and at first," Nicometo said. "He would walk away until I turned my back. Then if I turned quickly I would catch him running up. He started to recognize my car and if I rode by without seeing him he would start to crow to let me know where he was."

"By the time I would circle back around he would be by the road waiting for his feed. Many days he would be by the curve where I couldn’t stop so he would run along behind my car until I parked. It was funny to look in the side view mirror and see him running along."

Nicometo said it soon became obvious Rusty was gaining fans and friends, with much evidence of food being left for him, including a recent summer tomato.

But Saturday morning was the last time she would see the bird.

On Tuesday when she arrived to feed him, Rusty was nowhere to be found. Nicometo assused the bold bird had been hit by a car, but soon discovered otherwise.

Rusty was found shot in the head and lying on the side of the road.

"He was probably just standing there waiting to see what kind of treat he was going to get as this monster prepared to shoot him," she said.

Today friends said goodbye to Rusty the Rooster, as he was given a proper burial under the big oak next to the breakdown lane at Green Pond.

Information concerning the person who shot Rusty can be reported to the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.

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