DA will not press charges after Kremmling rancher shoots, kills neighbor’s husky puppy
GRANBY — The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has declined to press charges in a December incident where a puppy was shot to death after getting onto a neighboring ranch.
In a statement released Friday morning, the District Attorney’s Office — which serves Grand, Moffat and Routt counties — concluded that the shooter was within his rights per Colorado Title 35, which allows ranchers to kill dogs that they believe are endangering livestock.
The District Attorney’s Office also declined to press charges against Jeffrey Fowler, Jr., who was watching the dog, despite probable cause to charge him with “dog at large” for allowing the dog to run free.
The incident happened on Dec. 18, when Grand County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the home of Gwendolyn Cook in Kremmling, where her family dog, a four-month-old husky named Demon, had gotten out of its fenced yard and onto the neighboring Sammons ranch, where the rancher’s son shot the dog twice.
Earlier that day, Fowler, who was staying with his sister, Cook, had let the dog into the yard, where it escaped onto the ranch and began jumping and barking at the cattle, according to the report.
Fowler attempted to get the dog back onto his sister’s property by calling out to him, the report states. When Fowler stepped back inside, he heard the first gunshot and rushed outside to see what was happening, only to watch as the dog was shot to death outside his sister’s yard.
According to the report, the Sammons have had previous issues with dogs — not necessarily Cook’s husky — harassing their cattle, so the rancher’s son initially shot the dog upon seeing it chasing the cattle. He then followed it and shot it again so that the dog wouldn’t suffer, the report states.
The Sheriff’s Office cited Title 35 immediately following the incident as the legal precedent for not arresting or charging the shooter. Title 35 states that “any dog found running, worrying, or injuring sheep, cattle, or other livestock may be killed, and the owner or harborer of such dog shall be liable for all damages done by it.”
This story is from SkyHiNews.com.
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