Man shoots neighbor’s dogs in revenge for livestock killing

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Dog owner says shooting took place with children in the area

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – A man called the Graham County Sheriff’s Office on his neighbor Jan. 2 and said he had shot his dogs while his children played nearby in the snow.

Upon arrival, the reporting party pointed to a residence behind his house to the north and said the man who lives there had shot his dogs when they went onto his property. He said his neighbor advised the shooting took place because the dogs had killed his goat and he understood that but was concerned for the safety of his children.  

The reporting party’s residence is off 79th Street but the shooting allegedly took place at a residence off Olivine Lane. 

The deputy went to the alleged shooter’s residence, where the occupant admitted to shooting the dogs because they had killed his goat a few months ago. However, the shooter said the dogs were on the east side of the property while the children were on the opposite west side and therefore not near each other or in any danger. He also admitted that he no longer had any other livestock on his property to protect. 

According to Arizona Revised Statutes 3-1311, “If any person discovers a dog killing, wounding, or chasing livestock, or discovers a dog under circumstances which show conclusively that it has recently killed or chased livestock, he may pursue and kill the dog.”

Additionally, the owner of any dog that chases livestock is liable for any damages caused by the dog. If a dog kills or wounds livestock, the owner of the dog is liable for damages to the owner of the livestock equal to three times the value of the livestock killed or wounded, according to the statute.

If a dog owner is found to have intentionally or recklessly allowed a dog to wound or kill livestock, they face a charge of a Class-1 misdemeanor. For allowing a dog to chase livestock, the owner faces a charge of a Class-3 misdemeanor.

The deputy advised the man to be careful and watch where he was shooting and closed the case.   

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