Dog Shooting Puts Neighbors at Odds in Washoe Valley

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The shooting of a dog in Washoe Valley south of Reno has neighbors at odds over whether the killing was legal or justified.

A black Labrador named Bucket was shot and killed Saturday morning by an employee of Kruse's Custom Meat.

Butcher shop owner Tom Kruse said he's had problems in the past with Bucket getting loose and attacking chickens or rabbits on his property.

He says an employee shot the dog when he found it killing a chicken.

"That animal has been in here numerous times and killed other animals and rabbits," Kruse told the Nevada Appeal.

"We have lost so many animals over the years, but this is the first time in 30 years we've had to shoot a dog. We just had enough of this one particular animal killing our animals."

Karie Maxwell said she was in her driveway and heard the shots
when her teenage daughter began screaming.

When she turned around she saw her neighbor's 3-year-old dog running toward her. A butcher shop employee holding a rifle and two
other men were walking back toward the business property, she said.

"I just collapsed where the dog was and I was trying to comfort him, and crying and screaming and trying to call 911," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said it didn't appear the dog was on Kruse's property when it was shot.

"I just don't want this to happen to any other dogs, or any other animals. This can't be OK. This was part of somebody's life and it was allowed to be taken," Maxwell said.

"Shooting a dog should be a last resort. I think there should be other ways to deal with it other than shooting it."

The Washoe County sheriff's office is investigating whether the butcher shop employee, Tom Benton, could face possible charges, including animal cruelty or discharging a firearm in a populated area.

"There could be any number of charges stemming from this, or there could be zero, we just have to wait until the investigation is complete," Keast said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)