Beverly Whitman said things have been really difficult for her since her 11-month-old dog, Libby, was shot by a neighbour on Sunday, June 21.
“I haven’t talked to anybody about it yet because I just keep breaking down. It’s terrible.”
Her son, Rob, was taking the shepherd-lab-rottweiler cross for a walk around the property when the pup went into some tall grass to relieve herself.
“He heard the shot, looked up, and saw the fellow lowering the gun and walking away from the fence line,” Whitman said, noting the dog was almost 20 feet away from the neighbour’s property.
The family next door have a llama farm.
Whitman indicated there had been some tensions between the neighbours before. Her family owns three dogs, other than Libby, and there had been instances of their dog chasing the llamas in the past.
She admitted that Libby had escaped the property two months previous and ended up on the farm.
“I realized she’d escape the house and I went looking for her and got her back in the house, and I sent my son over to the fence to talk to one of the sons, and he threatened to shoot the dog then,” Whitman said.
“We don’t let her out by herself,” Whitman clarified. “That day, the door just got open and she left and she didn’t have the opportunity to be over there again after that.”
Whitman insisted the pup would have posed no problem to the other family.
“She’s very people-oriented,” Whitman said. “I’m guessing the farmer was in the field, so she went over there. She just goes for people and doesn’t care about llamas or cats or anything… She’s not a chasing dog.”
Once she got over the shock of what happened, Whitman said she called the police and also reported the incident to the SPCA.
In addition to the dog, Whitman pointed out her son and a couple who park their RV on her property were within the range of fire, should the bullet have been misfired.
Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Julie Klaussner confirmed the police are investigating an incident where a man allegedly shot a dog, but would offer no other details on an active case.
BC SPCA said they were aware of the incident, too. But they said they could not comment, as it is an RCMP matter.
According to the B.C. Livestock Protection Act, a person may kill a dog if the person finds the dog running at large, and attacking or viciously pursuing a person or domestic animal.
Since Libby was on her owner’s property and was not in the process of attacking or viciously pursuing llamas or people, Whitman believes her neighbours were not within their rights to shoot her pet.
She has yet to receive an apology from the llama owners, who declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The News.
“She was the nicest pup,” Whitman said. “And everybody who came here really liked her.
“You should not be allowed to just arbitrarily shoot a dog just because he took a dislike to it the one time he saw it before,” Whitman said, insisting again that her dog was on her property when it was shot and killed.
“It was just a puppy.”