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Nontarget Trapping Incident Report

Reported: Feb 09, 2005
Location: Victor, Montana

Species: Dog
Trap Type: Other
Incident Date: Dec 25, 2004

Victim's Disposition: dead
Victim's Name: Tio

Legal Action: unknown
Result: n/a

Summary: A couple who had permission from their neighboring landowner to run their dogs on the land. But a man who lives in the area, who has permission to trap coyotes as predators on land north of the couple's, shot Tio when the dog was caught in one of his traps at least two miles from the couple's house. He had seen Tio chasing livestock, he said, bunching up cows against a fence corner. He would have shot Tio if he had seen him running, too, he said. "It's their fault," the man said in a phone interview, "because that dog was chasing cows." The deputy county attorney assigned to the case said he couldn't think of a law the trapper would have violated. "The guy clearly has a civil case against him," he said. "But whether any law was violated is very unclear." He has never seen a case like this, he said, of a trapper shooting a dog he caught. The local county Dog Ordinance prohibits dogs from being "at large," he said. "I'm not trying to pick on these people," he said. "But their dog was at large." The couple said Tio was on land they had permission to walk and run their dogs on. They say that the trapper didn't have to tell them that he hadn't seen their dog while they searched for four days at Christmas. And he didn't have to shoot Tio twice in the top of the head for getting caught in his trap. "I realize we maybe put our dogs in harm's way," said one of Tio's guardians. "But we didn't shoot them. We didn't pull the trigger."

Source: Missoulian

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