Dog Owner to Blame, Not Livestock Owner
Reno, NV - The shooting of a dog in Washoe Valley south of Reno has neighbors at odds over whether the killing was legal or justified. A black Labrador named Bucket was shot and killed recently by an employee of Kruse's Custom Meat. Butcher shop owner Tom Kruse said he's had problems in the past with Bucket getting loose and attacking chickens or rabbits on his property.
Loose dogs in semi-rural areas that end up harassing livestock are as good as dead. The dog owners are 100% responsible.
This attack was one time too many. Kruse says an employee shot the dog when he found it killing a chicken. "That animal has been in here numerous times and killed other animals and rabbits. We have lost so many animals over the years, but this is the first time in 30 years we've had to shoot a dog. We just had enough of this one particular animal killing our animals."
Karie Maxwell heard the shots when her teenage daughter began screaming. When she turned around she saw her neighbor's dog running toward her. A butcher shop employee holding a rifle and two other men were walking back toward the business property. "I just collapsed where the dog was and I was trying to comfort him, and crying...and trying to call 911," Maxwell said.
Far be it for Maxwell to understand the heavy financial cost loose dogs pose to livestock owners.
The Washoe County sheriff's office is investigating whether the butcher shop employee, Tom Benton, could face possible charges, including animal cruelty or discharging a firearm in a populated area. He said there could be any number of charges stemming from this, or there could be zero. "We just have to wait until the investigation is complete,” sheriff's spokeswoman Brooke Keast said.
Bucket's owners should be charged with animal cruelty. The dog has a history of running loose and harassing livestock.
05/23/08: Unleashed Dogs are Dead Dogs in Semi-Rural America
05/20/08: Lower Valley Livestock Owner Knows Dog "Will Be Back"