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Man fatally shoots neighbor’s service dog: sheriff

A Virginia man’s service dog was shot and killed by his neighbor, who has been charged with the murder, according to the local sheriff’s office.

Louis E. Davis Jr., 67, of Waynesboro, Va., was arrested Saturday on charges of animal cruelty and misdemeanor reckless handling of a firearm, according to a news release Monday from the sheriff’s office of Augusta County (ACSO).

ACSO Lt. Leslie Snyder said News week during a telephone interview Monday evening, Bear, a husky, had escaped from his owner’s fenced yard and was fatally shot Friday morning. It was unclear at the time of publication if Davis knew the dog’s owner or if he had previous problems with the service dog.

Louis E. Davis Jr., 67, of Waynesboro, Va., was charged with animal cruelty and misdemeanor reckless handling of a firearm after shooting his neighbor’s service dog, according to the local sheriff.
Augusta County Sheriff’s Office

A 27-year-old Augusta County man called 911 shortly after 8 a.m. Friday from Waynesboro Veterinary Hospital to report that Bear had been shot, the sheriff’s office said in the release.

The bear’s owner, who was not identified, told authorities he heard a gunshot outside before “hearing an animal scream.” When he went outside, the owner said, he noticed his husky was no longer in the fenced area where he had left the dog. He said he found his service dog on the road near his home on Mormon Gap Road in Waynesboro. Bear suffered a gunshot wound to the spine and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the veterinary hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Snyder said News week that there are specific laws providing additional protections for service animals, but said she could not provide further details at the time of publication due to the ongoing investigation.

She said that even though Bear was a service dog, the incident would have been “more justified” if the husky had attacked or threatened Davis. Snyder said the sheriff’s office was still investigating the shooting and could not share a motive or further details Monday evening.

“The dog escaped, so if the dog was threatening him, his family or his animals, then the shooting would be more justified,” Snyder said, adding that “killing a service animal is a serious matter.”

A large caliber revolver, believed to have been used in the shooting, was recovered and seized by police, according to the police statement.

Davis was taken to Middle River Regional Jail in Verona, where he is being held without bond. Online jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

USA News Gb2