NH man fatally shoots neighbor's dog
HAMPSTEAD, N.H. (WHDH) – A dog was shot to death when it walked into a neighbor's yard in Hampstead, New Hampshire.
The neighbor says the dog was threatening his rabbits, but Sadie's owners say that's no reason to shoot.
“It’s like losing a child. She was our life,” said Judy Galietta.
Judy and Fred Galietta are heartbroken after their next door neighbor shot and killed their 6-year-old Brittany Spaniel, Sadie.
“When I got to her, I knew she was dead. I lifted up her head and there was nothing,” Judy Galietta.
Christopher Gibbons says Saturday morning he awoke to find Sadie in his yard barking at his two pet rabbits he keeps in a pen.
“They’re very easily stressed. Rabbits, when they get stressed, can get attacks,” said Gibbons.
Gibbons, who says he's a retired police officer, says he yelled at Sadie and when she didn't leave, he grabbed his AR-15 Assault rifle, fired a warning shot from his second floor bedroom window -- and then another.
“I shot one round into the dog and killed the dog,” said Gibbons.
But after investigating, police said the shooting was justified. Under state law, "any person may kill a dog that is…out of the care of its owner…worrying, wounding, or killing sheep, lambs, fowl, or other domestic animals."
“Probably could have handled it a little bit differently, be more neighbor-like. But what he did is not illegal,” said Lt. John Frazier, Hampstead Police Department.
“He’s supposed to be trained as a professional,” said Fred Galietta. “He’s no professional; he’s a coward. That’s what he is.”
The Galietta’s plan to file a civil lawsuit against Gibbons.