June 22, 2018
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Charges expected against owner, neighbor after service dog shot

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

WARREN, Maine — Charges are expected to be filed against both the owner of a service dog and the neighbor who is accused of shooting the animal on Sunday morning. The dog survived and is recovering.

The woman who owns the dog called police when she returned home to her mobile home at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday and found that the door was open and her registered psychiatric service dog was missing. She had left the Route 90 home at about 5 a.m. that morning.

She spoke to neighbors, who told her that they had heard a gunshot during the two-and-a-half hours she was gone, saying it sounded like a low caliber gun being fired, possibly a .22, according to a report by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman then called the sheriff’s office again when she found her dog and saw that it had been shot.

The sheriff’s office turned the case over to Warren Animal Control Officer Larry Reed who said Tuesday morning that he planned to issue a summons to a neighbor of the woman who he said shot the dog.

Reed said the neighbor shot the dog — a mixed breed and smaller than a husky — because it was on her property and stirring up chickens in a coop. The dog was struck above its lungs but the bullet missed vital organs and the animal is recovering at a local animal hospital, according to the animal control officer.

Reed did not have the dog’s name and said he would not divulge the names of the parties involved until each had been served a summons.

Reed said that the neighbor fired the gun about 37 yards from the nearest neighboring residence. State law prohibits the firing of a gun within 100 yards of a residence. He said the neighbor should have contacted police and let them respond to the dog complaint rather than shooting the animal.

The dog owner also will be charged with animal trespass because this was not the first time her dog had been at the neighbor’s chicken coop, he said.

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