June 23, 2018
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No animal cruelty charges in dog-shooting case

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Somerset County District Attorney Evert Fowle said Wednesday he will not file animal cruelty charges against the man who shot a dog that reportedly was attacking his chickens Monday in Palmyra.

Fowle said he reviewed the results of an investigation by Maine State Trooper Christopher Carr, as well as notes from a victim advocate from Skowhegan. Despite the fact that the chocolate Labrador retriever lived through the gunshot and had to be euthanized later Monday evening, there are no grounds for legal action.

Fowle said shooting a dog to protect personal property is legal in Maine. “We’re not able to bring animal cruelty charges in this case,” he said.

However, Fowle said he is still looking into Jennifer Fall’s allegation that her neighbor Herbert Brindley threatened to shoot her, too, when she confronted him.

“The dog owner is certainly a reputable, upstanding citizen,” said Fowle. “We’re taking her complaint very seriously, but I need to see all the reports and witness statements before we make any more decisions.”

Fall told the Bangor Daily News on Tuesday that her 1-year-old chocolate Lab, Hank, slipped past her Monday evening as she was carrying a load of laundry into her home. She said the dog normally was kept tied up. It was next seen at Brindley’s nearby home attacking some chickens when he shot the animal, according to statements Brindley made to Fall and Trooper Carr. Brindley declined a request for an interview with the Bangor Daily News at his home Tuesday.

The dog later returned to the Fall home on Gale Road with a gunshot wound to its ribcage and had to be euthanized by a veterinarian. Fall said her husband buried the animal behind their home and that the family, which includes children 5 and 8 years old, plans to have a memorial ceremony as soon as they can.

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