Friday, October 6, 2006

Dog put to death for killing horse

Express Staff Writer

A black Labrador mixed-breed dog was put to death Wednesday at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley for allegedly helping kill a small horse earlier this week near Bay Horse Road south of Bellevue.

The Labrador's partner in the affair, a pit bull, was reportedly shot to death at the scene of the carnage by a neighbor of the horse's owner.

The owner of the dogs, Sherilyn Haskin, of Bellevue, has been issued a misdemeanor "nuisance dog" citation by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, said Sgt. Jay Davis. He said the incident is still being investigated, and other charges may be filed.

The horse, a miniature breed belonging to Tom Riney, was killed about 1:30 p.m. Monday after the dogs apparently burrowed under a fence to get into a pasture. Two other animals belonging to Riney were injured.

"They killed one of the miniature horses, and kind of ripped up another miniature horse and a burro, in the eye, the nose and the ear area," Davis said.

He said Robin Riney and neighbor Randy Johnson witnessed the attacks and tried to intervene.

"Robin Riney jumped into the corral and tried to run the dogs off," Davis said. "The lab ran away, but the pit bull ran at her aggressively, and that's when Randy Johnson shot it with a .22 caliber weapon."

Davis said the Labrador surrendered peacefully and was tied to a fence to await the arrival of sheriff's deputies. The dog received a two-day stay of execution while officers investigated his culpability, but was deemed guilty in the attack and put to death Wednesday morning at the request of the owner.

"Both dogs had blood on them," Davis said. "The witnesses saw two dogs attacking, so it sounds like they were both in on it."

Davis said Haskin, who lives several blocks away from Riney, reported that the dogs were in the garage, and she didn't know how they got out.

"The owner has expressed sorrow and grief for what happened," Davis said.

Upset over the incident, Tom Riney said legal action is being considered.

"This loose dog situation has got to stop," he said.

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