(WSVN) - Their dog was barking at a neighbor. He says he was afraid and shot the dog. They said he was safe inside his home and came out to shoot their dog. Now the question — can a neighbor come out of his house to shoot your animal? It’s why we have Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Pitbulls have a bad reputation. Many people are afraid of them. Rebecca Adderly says many people have not met Sparkle.
Rebecca Adderly: “She is a sweetheart. She’s lovable, she’s kid-friendly, she’s been my baby since my baby was born and she has adapted just fine. She is my baby’s best friend.”
Simply put, Sparkle is sweet because that’s the way she was raised.
Rebecca Adderly: “When she takes the food out of my baby’s hand, she does it in a very gentle way.”
Then a few weeks ago, when Rebecca’s older daughter went out the front door carrying her little sister … of course Sparkle wanted to go with them.
Rebecca Adderly: “My dog got out and ran across the street to the lady’s house who has the cats.”
Also across the street, another neighbor was taking in her groceries. Sparkle barked at her and her boyfriend came out.
Rebecca Adderly: “The neighbor told them, ‘Get your dog or I’m going to shoot it.’ My dog is still barking and my daughter is trying to call the dog back in our yard.”
Rebecca’s daughter didn’t want to put her little sister down and couldn’t grab Sparkle. Fortunately the neighbors went inside, but unfortunately…
Rebecca Adderly: “Came back with a gun and shot my dog … in front of my kids.”
The man fired two shots at Sparkle, hitting her once. Rebecca was stunned.
Rebecca Adderly: “To have someone directly across the street from you pull out a gun and shoot in front of your children of such close proximity of your kids … it was very traumatizing not only for myself, but for my kids.”
As Rebecca rushed Sparkle to the vet, her husband went across the street to talk to the shooter.
Rebecca Adderly: “The neighbor came to the door with a gun when my husband knocked on the door.”
The man told police when he came back outside to get more groceries, Sparkle was growling and barking at him, that he felt the dog was going to bite him, so he shot her.
Rebecca’s daughter says Sparkle was only barking and not aggressive at all.
Rebecca Adderly: “What is your motive for doing that? You had an opportunity to let the kids get the dog, go on about their business, but you chose to seek violence when you didn’t have to. It wasn’t necessary.”
The vet charged Rebecca $1,500 for take care of Sparkle. The dog is now fine, but Rebecca is not.
Rebecca Adderly: “I’m worried about my neighbor. I don’t know what kind of person they are. I worry about my children walking in front of their house.”
Well Howard, someone thinks your dog might bite them. Can they shoot the animal?
Howard Finkelstein: “In this case, no. Whether you are a dog lover or not, this boils down to a legal question — were you in imminent danger of being seriously hurt? Because the neighbor was safe inside his home and chose to come back out and shoot a dog that he felt was going to bite him, what he did was wrong and it could be cruelty to animals.”
First of all, Broward Sheriff’s deputies took the gun that was used to injure the dog and they identified the shooter as Corey Leath.
A spokesperson said they’re waiting to hear from the state attorney to determine if any charges will be filed against Leath.
Corey Leath told us he was justified in shooting the dog, he was just protecting his family. When we asked why he came back outside to shoot the dog, he would not answer and hung up.
Howard says Leath is responsible for the $1,500 vet bill, but Rebecca told us she doesn’t want to go knock on his door to ask for the money…
Rebecca Adderly: “I wouldn’t dare go knock on their door and present them with a veterinarian bill. I don’t know if he got his gun back, so I don’t know what his mind-set would be.”
Patrick Fraser: “Rebecca can sue the shooter in small claims court or she can wait because if he is charged and convicted of cruelty to animals, a judge will order him to pay the $1,500 she spent on the vet bill.
Got a problem dogging you? Afraid your bark has lost its bite? Let us help. We have a lot of legal firepower and shoot, we like to help. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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