Washoe Valley Dog Shooting Raises Questions

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A Washoe Valley family says an employee at a nearby business shot and killed their dog for no reason on Saturday.

But the owner of the business says the shooter was well within his rights.

The shooting took place about a hundred yards away from a house, where a family was getting ready to leave for a trip, early Saturday morning.

The mother, Karie Maxwell says she heard two gunshots and turned around and saw a man carrying a rifle. The shooter returned to work at a nearby butcher shop, while the dog limped toward her driveway. Maxwell says she tried to help the wounded animal, but it was too late.

"He died in my hands," says Maxwell. "He laid there and bled and he died. He wasn't a bad dog."

Blood from a wounded black lab is still visible on Maxwell's driveway. And while the animal's fate may be sealed, the blame game is just getting started.

"It was killed because that dog was allowed to run loose," says Tom Kruse who owns Kruse's custom meat where the shooting allegedly took place. "(It) has been harassing our livestock for quite some time."

Kruse owns several other businesses in the area and keeps a collection of sheep, rabbits and other animals as pets in the backyard.

He wasn't working when the shooting happened, but says his employee did the right thing; shooting an unleashed dog he says has harassed and killed several of his animals.

"For us to be scrutinized for protecting our livestock...first of all it's legal what we did and it doesn't make sense, because that animal could been killed by a car as easily as anything else," says Kruse.

The dog belonged to Christine Barrett and her family. She says the family typically kept three-year-old Bucket chained up during the day, but for some reason, on Saturday he got out.

Even without a leash, Barrett says there was no reason for any concern.

"He's a family dog," says Barrett. "And we have livestock on our property. We have chickens and ducks. He doesn't go after them. There was absolutely no reason to kills this family member: our dog."

The situation becomes even more complicated considering Barrett's son Shawn works for Kruse at his hardware store.

While Barrett vows to fight back, Kruse insists the shooting wasn't personal.

"We're sorry," says Kruse. "I love the man who works for me and his dog, but that dog had to be restrained."

"I'm not going to go quietly," says Barrett. "He shot the wrong person's dog."

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation and will release a report on their findings sometime on Monday.

One of many issues at hand is whether or not the dog was technically on Kruse's property.

A source from the Sheriff's Office tells Kolo-8, the Department is in contact with the District Attorney about obtaining a possible warrant for the shooter's arrest.