CADDO COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – An Anadarko man says he’s grieving the loss of his dog after a nearby rancher shot and killed the canine while the two were out hunting wild hogs in the middle of the night.
The Caddo County District Attorney has chosen to not press charges on the man who pulled the trigger.
“For someone just to shoot him because he’s a dog, kill him because he’s a dog or murder him because he’s a dog, it isn’t right,” Chase Butler said.
Chase Butler of Anadarko says it’s still tough to talk about his best friend, Smoke.
“It’s a pretty hard lump to swallow,” Butler said.
The two’s favorite hobby was hunting hogs after dark.
But on August 4, Smoke didn’t make it back to his owner. Chase was helping out a wheat farmer in Anadarko fend off wild hogs.
The animals are detrimental to the farmer’s crops, so Chase’s pack of pups headed out on their normal route.
Chase uses a tracking service that connects to an antenna attached to the dogs’ collars, but two-year-old Smoke apparently became distracted.
“He saw truck headlights and he went,” Butler said.
Chase says Smoke ran toward the truck, thinking it was his owner’s.
According to Caddo County’s sheriff, a nearby rancher was checking on his cattle.
The man told deputies he “saw an animal run by him” and he “grabbed his rifle when the dog jumped on the hood of his truck.” That’s when the man allegedly shot the dog, so Chase confronted him at the front gate.
“He says the dog was not a threat to him or his livestock but that he just shoots dogs because people dump dogs out here,” Butler said. “Then I said well the dog has a reflective collar all the way around his neck and a flashing light on his collar.”
But so far, there have been zero arrests.
Caddo County’s undersheriff tells KFOR there’s “no law to support any charges in this case.”
Chase called the Oklahoma Dog Hunters Association, which released the following statement to KFOR:
“Oklahoma law has very clear standards of when a dog can be shot. Section 4-41gives permission to kill a dog if chasing livestock. A dog can also be legally shot if it is deemed a threat to your person. In this case neither of these thresholds were claimed by the shooter. Oklahoma law does not allow for the shooting of a dog simply because he is on your land. In this case the shooter admitted in writing to the sheriffs deputy to shooting the dog and claimed neither self defense or defense of his livestock. A crime was committed.
Since the shooter has no defense he should be charged under Oklahoma’s cruelty to animals law, Section 21-1685. Short of this the shooter should at a minimum face a charge under Oklahoma 21-1760 – Malicious injury or destruction of property, as dogs are considered personal property.”Oklahoma Dog Hunters Association
Chase says he is now worried it’s his word against theirs, but is still hoping the district attorney will pick up the case.
“I am not after money,” Butler said. “I am after respect and for laws being laws, not for who you want the law to apply to.”
The Caddo County Sheriff’s Office has handed the case over to the District Attorney’s Office.
KFOR has called multiple times, but has not yet heard back. KFOR is also not releasing the name of the alleged shooter because the man hasn’t been arrested or charged with a crime.
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