WEST PARIS, Maine — Kevin Newton may be a tough Maine logger, but he gets choked up thinking about what happened to his dog. Jake, a 13-year-old Boxer mix, was allegedly shot and killed by a neighbor.
Police said that Steve McCann of West Paris admitted to shooting the dog. He allegedly said he thought it looked like a pit bull and feared for his family’s safety.
McCann is facing charges of cruelty to animals.
“That dog wouldn’t harm a fly. He hangs out with my dog. I never had one issue with him in a year and a half,” said neighbor Adam Sessions.
Newton said he would often let his dog out to roam freely, and Jake mostly stayed in his yard.
But the last time he let Jake out, the dog wandered through a cemetery to the nearby home of McCann.
According to the animal control officer, McCann said the dog didn’t have a collar, looked like a pit bull and was acting erratically. He added that McCann said he didn’t want to shoot the dog but thought of his wife and young son and pulled the trigger.
Newton went around asking neighbors if they’d seen Jake. He said that McCann initially denied seeing him.
“But as I was searching later that day,” Newton said, “He came up to me and said he shot him for being in his yard.”
Ozzie Hart, the Animal Control officer in West Paris and seven other Oxford county towns, said McCann didn’t call police and didn’t realize there was animal control in town.
Hart said McCann told him that he and his family arrived home, saw the dog in the yard and went inside.
Hart said that according to McCann, the dog made no threats.
“It didn’t try to attack him or anything. It just stayed right there by his house,” Hart said.
“I guess Steve told him he shot him five times. The first shot didn’t kill him, so he shot him four more,” Newton said.
McCann wasn’t home and hasn’t replied to a call for comment by CBS 13.
As for Jake, Newton found his body and buried him in his yard.
“I got a boy. He’s just over [2 years old] there, and he asks questions. And [I] try to tell him [Jake] went to doggie heaven, and he really doesn’t get it,” he said.
There is no ordinance against discharging a firearm in West Paris. However, under Maine law, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 100 yards of a home without permission of the owner.