Mr. Vernon, OH – A man shot and killed a neighbor’s family dog near the slain dog’s owner’s two young daughters on Sunday, May 14. Jenny Hall, the girls’ mother, told NBC4 that her girls are traumatized by the event.
“My children are having nightmares and waking in the night crying after seeing their dog shot to death,”
It all began when Hall’s son opened the front door and the 5-year old pit bull mix, named Pacman, ran out, according to NBC4. Pacman and Hall’s neighbor’s dog – who was also off-leash – got into a fight. Pacman’s human “sisters” tried to break up the fight.
The shooter’s wife and three neighbors called 911. The shooter claimed Pacman was biting his dog on the throat. He then yelled at the girls from the second story window of his home before he open-fired on Pacman, right in front of them, with a 22-caliber pistol. Exactly what he yelled at the girls before firing three shots into Pacman’s body is unknown.
Hall told NBC4 that Pacman “was a gentle … dog,” and that he and her daughters loved to play with each other.
Their response right after the shooting indicates Pacman was very much a beloved part of the family. Hall said she heard three gunshots followed by her daughters screaming “he shot him!” She ran out and saw Pacman, bloodied, and trying to drag himself away from the neighbor’s yard. Hall ran over to him, picked him up and put him into her van. She and her daughters rushed to the nearest animal clinic. Unfortunately, it was closed. Pacman bled to death.
NBC4 visited the District Attorney’s Office to inquire whether the shooter will face any charges. The Office’s response was:
There is an Ohio revised code section that creates an exception for killing a dog that is menacing another person, and that is what is reported by the homeowner.
After this story was posted on facebook by animal advocate Luke Westerman, most animal lovers argue that the shooter’s ability to take advantage of this exception is a stretch, given the loving relationship between Pacman and Hall’s daughters. The man claimed he could not run down to break up the dogfight because he had just come out of the shower; but his wife was present. After all, she called 911. It left many wondering why she didn’t run out to save the girls from a “menacing” dog.
More significantly, many are questioning why the shooter isn’t facing child endangerment charges. Any reasonable person would know that shooting towards children with a handgun from a second-story window is conduct that placed them in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical or mental trauma. Many states and local jurisdictions have these types of statutes – the aim of which is to reduce the potential of harm or injury to a child.
It is unknown whether the state of Ohio or Knox county has such legislation. If it does not, maybe the Hall family may deem a civil suit is in order.
Those who believe criminal charges are in order are asked to sign and share this Change.org petition created by Westerman.
RIP, Pacman. You were deeply loved by your family.