Skip to comments.Bristol man who shot neighbor's dog charged with felony animal cruelty
Posted on 08/01/2012 6:29:04 PM PDT by AlmaKing
BRISTOL A 5-year-old dog is recovering from a gunshot wound above his right eye and a local man is being charged with felony animal cruelty after shooting the dog on its owner's lawn last week, police said.
Michael Nelson, 36, a resident of Pike's Point Road, has been charged with cruelty to animals, a Class B felony punishable by 3½ to 7 years in jail, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, for shooting named Australian shepherd mix named Tucker.
Tucker, who is owned by Michael and Lynne Furey, Pasadena, Md., and who were staying at their summer cottage several houses down from Nelson's home, is recovering from a gunshot wound above the right eye, the bullet left the skull through his right ear and then hit the dog's rear right toe, said Lynne Furey.
The dog is suffering from a neurological problem and has trouble keeping its balance, Furey said. The toe also had to be amputated.
Nelson, who was not reachable for comment, told police that he was acting in self-defense when he shot the dog on the Furey's lawn at about 3:30 p.m. Friday as the Fureys and several friends sat inside their home, according to Detective Sgt. Timothy Woodward.
He claimed it was self-defense, that the dog had come to his yard and wouldn't stop barking, so he chased the dog to the owner's home and pulled out his gun, and shot the dog in the head, Woodward said.
Nelson legally owned the gun, a 9 mm pistol, Woodward said. But police charged him with a felony after the investigation showed his actions were not warranted.
If his life had been threatened or even minimally in danger, it might have been justified, Woodworth said. If this was a 100-pound Rottweiler, you might be able to understand it. But this was a 50-55 pound dog. He could have taken any number of other actions.
The Fureys, who don't know Nelson, said they were sitting with friends at different sides of the house when they heard Tucker barking, and then heard a gunshot, Lynne Furey said.
My husband came from one side of the house and I came from the other, and we see this man with a gun and our dog is rolling around in a pool of blood, she said. Of course we thought he was dying.
Nelson looked at the Fureys and told them to call the police. He said, 'I just shot your dog,' she said. He said something like, 'he was coming for me so I shot him.'
The Fureys rushed Tucker to an animal hospital in Plymouth. It was recommended that the dog be taken to a Boston veterinary hospital, where his toe was amputated.
He is still having a neurological disorder as the result of the gunshot wound, but is expected to make a full recovery in the coming months, Lynne Furey said.
The couple is still shocked by the shooting, though. He followed my dog with a loaded gun to our private property and shot him, she said.
“Dogs are not mere property, theyre valued and love3d members of the family......”
Perhaps your dog is a valued and loved member of your family, but to me your dog is your property that must be kept in leashes unless it is not barking mad.
I have absolutely no problem with dogs, but their owners must treat them as their property keep them in check. Dogs are not like spoiled children that run around. I am certainly not advocating shooting at spoiled youths(i.e. true family members) that shout at you in front of your lawn. However, there are stories out there where irritated homeowners shooting at those punks.
He’s lucky it wasn’t one of my dogs, on my property. I’d have dropped him like a bad habit.
This remark is bizarre. You speak of "irrational" and potentially vicious creature and then state that they flee and continue to do so. That sounds predictable to me, if not rational.
Here's an analogy to the situation: if a bad guy comes in your house and you shoot him, no problem. But if he's on the other side of the threshold and you shoot him in the back, you go to jail.
He shot the dog on his neighbor's property. He can provide no evidence that it threatened him, has no witnesses to verify his claims, discharged a firearm in the proximity of other houses, and intended to destroy a neighbors pet.
By NH law when it is subjecting a dog to unwarranted and unnecessary cruelty, it is more than a fine.
“[one of the parties involved can lie and justify himself...the other party cannot speak or defend himself...how *convenient*]”
What is with this anthropomorphizing a dog? That dog, even when not shot at, is NOT going to speak for itself. Dogs are dogs. Deal with it. It will never be human. In this situation, the whole thing is merely about damaged property.
I am not disagreeing with you that the guy was excessive. I am merely trying to bring a bit of rationality into the conversation, which is practically marinated with irrational emotion and PETA-esque obsession with anthropomorphization.
“This remark is bizarre. You speak of “irrational” and potentially vicious creature and then state that they flee and continue to do so. That sounds predictable to me, if not rational.”
On the contrary, the dog was barking mad. From the description of the account from the guy, the dog was completely bat shit crazy. When dogs bark, especially 60 pounders, it is a scary sight and sound. The guy was a legal gun owner with no felony in the past. Now the guy exercises his right and it will be branded a hardened criminal? For shooting a barking big dog?
“Here’s an analogy to the situation: if a bad guy comes in your house and you shoot him, no problem. But if he’s on the other side of the threshold and you shoot him in the back, you go to jail.”
The only difference is that the dog is NOT a “guy”. It is a damn dog.
“...He can provide no evidence that it threatened him, has no witnesses to verify his claims, discharged a firearm in the proximity of other houses, and intended to destroy a neighbors pet.”
That is for the court to decide, but a felony for damaging a potentially dangerous and out of control property?
It is akin to your neighbor’s car rolling off their drive way about to run over your kid, then you shoot its tires out to stop it. Then the guy shooting gets charged with felony? How is that fair?
I would not give the benefit of the doubt to a criminal who *trespassed* on my property to shoot my dog.
I would give the benefit of the doubt to a *neighbor* who called me from his property to report he saw my dog in his yard.
Do you truly not grasp the difference??
Actually, you posting from *emotion* and trying to defend the shooter’s *trespass* onto the owner’s private property.
We get it. You’re scared of dogs. You don’t understand dogs. You think charging dogs flee back to their owner’s yards as a “sneaky” way of intending to come back to bite you.
The one in the wrong is the neighbor. In some parts of this country, if he was seen trespassing with a gun, he would have been shot *before* he shot the dog.
Think about that should you be tempted to “copycat” his trespass yourself.
A *barking* dog is not a “scary” sight to rational adults, whether male or female. A barking dog is a barking dog.
Those who are frightened of *barking* dogs are typically criminal-minded—barking dogs give away their location, and even their intentions.
You need to get some help for your fear.
A “mad” dog will not be *barking*. You have failed to do your homework and it shows.
The legal gun owner has a felony *now*. He should have thought with his brain as opposed to his marble-sized pair.
I suggest you properly educate yourself about dogs and possibly, seek professional help for your cynophobia.
Actually, in that analogy, *your* kid is trespassing on *their* property if *their* car in *their* driveway is endangering your kid because of *your* failure to keep *your* kid contained and supervised.
And what kind of parent *are* you if *you* permit your kid, who lacks the common sense to *stay away* from driveways when cars are moving in or out of them, to wander off into someone else’s driveway?
By the way, if you shoot out the tires, you have damaged their property, endangered *your* child (child neglect, improper supervision of a child), and have fired your weapon in a residential location, endangering the lives of other citizens, including your child. (You stand a good chance of missing the tires and hitting your own kid, genius, and if you’re close enough to hit the tires with 100% accuracy, you should be close enough to keep your own kid in your own yard.
In essence, in using your example, you advocate a solution worse, and more criminal, than the criminal “solution” used by the the trespassing neighbor in this article. I hope you are NOT a parent if you suppose this is a “reasonable” comparison.
And keep your kid on your property. Within arm’s reach, if you really don’t understand why your hypothetical would be legally *your* fault.
I went to buy food for my snakes tonight.
The guy’s 60+ pound Pit rushed at me barking and growling as I entered the house.
I said “Good dog!”, ignored it and went down to his snake room.
Maybe some folks just don’t spook easy.
Shoot my “damn dog” and find out for sure if there’s an afterlife.
For all you know, he’s an habitual dog shooter.
Sure sounds like one.
*Way* to much defensive posturing, IMO.
“You need to get some help for your fear.”
You misspelled neuroses.
Joe: I’ve read this whole thread, which I find to be one of the most disturbing threads on dogs that I have ever read.
I remember years ago when my husband had to move to another state for a job, and I had to stay behind to sell the house. We lived far out in the country in the deep woods. We had just finished installing garage doors and touching up paint before he boarded the plane. We did not shut the windows all the way so that the new paint wouldn’t stick.
That night, my Golden Retriever kept waking me up by barking. I was so irritated that I told her to lie down and be quiet. The next morning I found that thieves had pried the newly painted windows open in my garage and stole all of my husband’s tools, plus several cans of gas. I should have listened to the dog! (Although getting the sheriff out there in the middle of the night would have been impossible.)
Mea culpa. :-)
I’m glad you were well and the thieves didn’t harm you.
Dogs can tell their owners much, when they take the time to listen. :-)
That is horrifying!
Thank God you were not harmed!
I *never* ignore my dogs.
They have distinctive barks for everything and I know when they’re barking just to hear themselves bark, play-barking or barking because something is not right, somewhere.
Over the years, I’ve had dogs save me from things as serious as a wandering kidnapper/rapist [didn’t know what the guy was at the time the dog uncharacteristically and of his own free will, tried to eat him..the cops told me, later], death from smoke inhalation as I slept, an ex who was strangling me to things as ‘minor’ as a small animal trapped in something that would’ve resulted in its death to ‘arcing’ electrical stuff.
A good dog is worth much more than its weight in gold.
[or a Golden Retriever, as the case may be]
What an ass. If the dog could be chased away, then he was in no danger. I speak as one who has also shot a dog in self defense.
Well, I was very tired from a strenuous weekend of preparing the house for sale and getting my husband off to the “Red Eye” flight. My dog seemed to be barking incessently at the neighbors’ dogs (several acres away) who were answering.
Believe me, my blood ran cold when I realized the next day what had happened. We’d lived there 5 years (in this isolated location) with a garage that had no front and no side. Nothing had ever been touched. So, we didn’t think about leaving the garage window ajar to keep the newly painted window from sticking. This was in the Pacific Northwest where the weather assures that paint takes a long time to cure.
Probably I did the right thing, because the wrong thing would have been for me to fly out the back door and confront the thieves. I know exactly who did it because the “gas” they stole was diesel and their car was found, konked out on a logging road (gas powered engines don’t run long on diesel) not far from our house. For that matter, their fingerprints were pressed into the windowsill. But the cops weren’t interested. They just gave us a case number for our insurance claim and said that our tools were probably sold on the bar that very night at a local tavern!
As beautiful as that house and land were, I was glad to move.
Absolutely! I have a different Golden now and he never barks. Never. But I still know what he wants just by his cold nose nudges.
He was a “rescue” and all I can think is that he may have been trained with a “bark collar” when he was little. I tried a training shock collar on him to keep him from chasing deer when he was young, and he did not react well to it. It really frightened him and drained all of his spirit away, so I threw the collar away. He can bark, but it is only when he is surprised by a wild animal that I ever hear it; and then it is just a low “rooof”. Just one “rooof” and then he never utters another sound. You can just tell that he is alert and watching by his body language. He’s totally quiet the next time that a groundhog/rabbit/deer wanders by. He only speaks when he spots the first one.
“Shoot my damn dog and find out for sure if theres an afterlife.”
If your dog is anything like your neighbor’s “60+ pound pit that rushes at you barking and growling”, it will be promptly put to sleep. “Good dog” is not the phrase that comes to mind when being ambushed by those rampaging canines. If, on the other hand, you take care of your animal and don’t let it roam the neighborhood barking at and harassing your neighbors, there is no need for any type of animosity at all. ciao.
He’s not my neighbor, although I wish he were.
His dog displayed absolutely no body language that signified any intent to bite and I felt completely calm walking by it and “Good dog!” was totally deserved because that dog’s job is to guard that man’s house and his belongings.
But no, his dog is nothing like *my* dog which is why my dog is put in another room prior to having anyone unfamiliar come in.
My dog is far from ‘all bark, no bite’.
I feel sorry for you.
It must be living Hell to have to exist in a world full of “rampaging canines.”
I can’t imagine being that scared all the time.
I just can’t imagine how horrible that was.
The closest I’ve come to such a thing was finding out that copper theives had hit the neighbor’s barn and stolen a bunch of wire.
That barn-turned-shop/garage is pretty close to my house and it was chilling to think people like that could’ve come here, too.
By the next day, I had security cameras installed outside.
I agree that you did the right thing.
Who knows what ‘surprised’ thieves might have done to you.
It’s hard to say what I’d do myself in the same situation but staying inside with the dog and having a pistol in my hand seems like a good bet.
[I had to laugh about the car...serves them right!]
It amazes me that the cops did nothing.
They caught the copper thieves and jailed them.
Turns out they’d hit several houses along the pike and had even attempted the hit the guy’s machine shop across the road but he had locked doors, unlike the neighbor.
I’m not sure why they didn’t attempt our place since it’s known to be a welding/machine shop full of ‘good stuff’.
Maybe the nasty ‘warning signs’ we have posted out front or the Dobermann watching them through the window spooked them.
It was a very stressful couple of weeks for everyone in this area until they were nabbed, though.
How about if you stay on *your* property and leave *our* dogs on *our* property alone, and you won’t be shot for trespassing while armed.
Oh, and keep your kids on your property too, in case you haven’t figured out that it’s *your* responsibility to keep them out of neighbors’ driveways while your neighbors are backing out or pulling in.
You really need to learn normal dog behavior; your cynophobia is not normal or rational.
Indeed, your cynophobia is more likely to get you into trouble. Please seek professional help if you are unable to resolve it on your own.
“His dog displayed absolutely no body language that signified any intent to bite and I felt completely calm walking by it”
You clearly seem to read a dog’s intent, so good for you. Excuse those of us who are needlessly scared when encountering a 60+ pound dog going barking mad and running at us.
“... and Good dog! was totally deserved because that dogs job is to guard that mans house and his belongings.”
It is your business if you delegate that duty to a dog.
“But no, his dog is nothing like *my* dog which is why my dog is put in another room prior to having anyone unfamiliar come in.
My dog is far from all bark, no bite.
I feel sorry for you.”
No, I feel sorry for you. It looks like your dog has severe issues and might be a hazard. Don’t let it go out and maul others.
“It must be living Hell to have to exist in a world full of rampaging canines.
I cant imagine being that scared all the time.”
Scared is not the word I would use. I am rather alert about potential menacing dogs/breeds that have genetic predisposition towards mauling.
Have a good day.
Do you realize how your choice of descriptors reveals more about you than about the dogs? A “barking” dog becomes a “mad” dog or a “mauling” dog?
You really need to deal with your cynophobia.
Did Mommy not let you have anything bigger than a chihuahua growing up, because she was frightened of anything larger? Did you yank on Fido’s tail and blame him when he bit you in retaliation?
Did you trespass in someone else’s yard and blame their dog for biting you?
By the way, reading a dog’s intent isn’t rocket science. People hide their intentions. Dogs broadcast theirs clearly. If you are capable of accurately reading human emotions and intent, you are capable of accurately reading dog emotions and intent. You are CHOOSING not to read them properly because of your FEAR.
Your “dog-emotion reader” is clearly broken. Maybe your parents never trained you to read dogs correctly. Maybe criminal activities in your youth distorted your understanding of dogs.
Regardless of the reason, do some reading on understanding dogs, and spend some time with normal dogs. Perhaps get professional help for your cynophobia.
Try intensive, effective training, instead.
He has a job.
His job is to protect me.
He does his job incredibly well.
“might be a hazard. Dont let it go out and maul others.”
Yeah..okay...unless some punk begs for it, I won’t.
Our 12 acres was on the perimeter of 1000 acres of State forest land. People weren’t supposed to be back there, but they’d been going back there on old logging roads for generations — just goofing off and target shooting. Despite our deed that said that there was supposed to be a gate blocking the road (which started on our property) the DNR had never erected one until we complained.
There was some guy who kept a trailer back there (on private, not state, property) in a place that was inaccessible by public road. He (and his hangers on, stepchidren, etc. — a rough bunch) liked to cut through our property and use the logging road to reach his trailer because he didn’t want to pay to build his own road. He wasn’t there most of the week, but he kept vicious dogs chained back there to protect his trailer. I don’t know what he was doing, but I always suspected a marijuana grow operation. It was one of his cars that was disabled on the logging road. They got as far as the gate when they kinked out.
One night at about 1 in the morning, we heard rifle shots. We called the sheriff and the deputy on duty showed up about an hour later. He just looked at us and said, “I’m not going back there to investigate.” We agreed that it was probably not a good idea, and we knew then that we would have no protection. My husband brought me a cricket bat to keep under the bed in case of emergency!
Funny thing happened. We never put a sign on our house when it was for sale. We kept our upcoming move a secret from the few neighbors that we had. Our last weekend in the house, we needed to go to the hardware store for some last minute purchase, and we ran into the guy with the trailer. We told him we were moving the following week, and he answered in shock, “Oh, no! Who’s going to protect me, if you are gone!?” SOB.
Ha! My beautiful 4000 sq. ft. house was purchased by the County eventually and became the fanciest ranger station in the whole country. They maintain their own gate now and patrol the place. We are all better off.
That is like the preface to some really scary horror novel.
I’m *very* glad you’re not there any more.
God knows what he was really doing.
[or ~was~ doing, now that the state is watching him]
You caught him panting after the images of female dogs in Dog Fancy again, didn’t you?
Nah...the big slob sleeps on his back all the time.
He’d just woken up and his lips were stuck in that position so I snapped a shot of him so I could embarrass him on public forums such as FR....;D
[he's such a chauvinist pig]...LOL
LOL! I love that picture, is that the dog bed or your bed?
If it is your bed, I hope you have one of those nightgowns that says SHE WHO SLEEPS WITH DOGS on the front. :D
That’s our sofa.
It’s a This End Up twon bed I converted to a soafa because sofas just don’thave room for me and the horse...LOL
Nah...my dad calls him The Horse.
MGM channel is running “The Tender” [which used to be called “Eyes Of An Angel”], a story of a little girl and her found Dobermann with Travolta as her no-account dad.
My gosh, that dog looks like Odin.
If the man was threatened, why didn’t he go back into his house to protect himself? Why didn’t he call the police? Why did he follow the dog back to the owners house? The man abviously has anger issues. He is a ticking time bomb. God forbid anyone who accidentally cuts him off on road or looks at him cross eyed. He deserves the full penalty of the law.
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