In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
A storm of controversy arose last week when a man shot and killed two dogs that he said has gotten into his chicken coop and killed his chickens. He had originally told authorities his son had beaten the animals with shovels, burned and buried their remains. Current law says a property owner can kill an animal if it comes after its livestock. Do you think any charges should be leveled in this case, or should the law be amended in any way?
I FEEL HE has some responsibility. His coop was not maintained. I live in the county and, if you are taking care of your livestock, you should maintain their living quarters. He went overboard shooting them. A hose squirting them would have worked. Even a warning shot in the air and a 911 call.... They do not seem to value family pets or people around them. Showed no regard for the son's employer and the people of Byron also.
AT THIS POINT I would think that charges against him would be in regards to discharging a firearm within city limits, or lying to officers, rather than animal cruelty.
I BELIEVE A person has the right to defend their animals when they are attacked. However, I don't think any animal should be tortured. The actions of the man in question suggest to me he did something he felt he had to cover up.
YES! ONCE he shot them, he should have called it in and explained why. Instead, he let people think his son is a monster. Isn't there a law about misleading people in an investigation?
I THINK he had the right to defend his livestock but he shouldn't have wasted the time and resources of the authorities by lying. Is there a fine for that?
Daisy C. Templeton
TAR and feathers.
AT THE least he should be charged with giving false statements to a police officer. Sorry, I never did 4-H, but I do not view chickens as livestock -- half the people in the area have them for pets.
HE SHOULD be charged with pain and suffering. He put the owners through hell letting them believe that their dogs went through horrific torture. Plus, lying to police and removing evidence is a crime in itself.
I THINK the law should be changed. There is no need to kill a dog to keep it away from livestock. The men should punished for lying to officers, and for the waste of time and resources.
Sheila St. Pierre
THERE'S SO MUCH more going on with this case. You don't lie to the police. Our country is founded on trust and that's a clear problem.
The son and father should be charged with 148(a)(1) of the penal code, resisting delaying or obstructing and section 597 of the penal code for animal cruelty. The officers on scene should have been able to see that there was zero feathers from this alleged massacre of fowl. The the son provided misleading information on the shovel versus a gun and why he chose to drive to Byron to dispose of the only evidence in this case. He also should be charged for evidence tampering 135 PC.
TOO MANY LIES. Again where is the proof of "all" the chickens being killed? And, who makes up such a horrible gruesome story to begin with? Did they really hold onto Luke's other collar? Why, if so? Not your property to keep as of it were a keepsake. I guess I am a little biased because I love animals -- especially dogs as they give unconditional love. These people are my friends, know them personally, and am sickened at what they had and have to endure for the rest of their lives. Basically, yes, charge the lying sick monsters!
AS TO WHETHER the dogs were actually in the coop, we will never know, so it is the shooter's word against anyone who questions it. However, absolutely charges should be filed for the father and son lying to authorities as well as various other actions by these two. The public is outraged by this horrific act against these two pets. I think an example needs to be set here.
OF COURSE, file charges; they are lying!
YES! FILE CHARGES! If the chickens were so important they should have called the police and had the owners pay for any that had been killed. They shot the dogs because they wanted to, and should be at the very least, legally charged.
Cheryl Belle Shepherd
THE LAWS REGARDING livestock and poultry need to be picked apart piece by piece. A good lawyer will find something to charge these murderers with. Regardless, it was wrong. Plus, the countless lies surrounding the whole story are fishy to say the least. Luke and Jaeger deserve justice, and their family needs closure
Marcy Villarreal Moniz
YES, CHARGES should be filed! As a farm owner, I know other actions could've been tried before shooting the dogs!
YES, THEY should file charges. Chickens are not livestock!
I FEEL THAT the livestock owner or his son had every right to return the two dogs' attack on his chickens by beating or stopping them the only way he could. It was not possible to ascertain from their I.D. (if they had any on them) or the chickens' owner would have been attacked himself.
The dogs' owner should have the blame for not securing that fence, which appears in the photo to be rather flimsy at best. If people must have large dogs, it is their responsibility to make sure they are not able to roam away from their own property. Dogs of such large size should, by law, be fenced in with steel fencing or the equivalent.
BOTH PARTIES are at fault, but the chicken farmer more so than the dogs' owner.
The chicken farmer should have had his animals secured in such a way that no predator could get to them. The dogs' owner should have been more diligent in making sure all fencing was sound, even a barrier she claimed was not her responsibility.
There is a difference between killing a coyote or another predator and killing someone's pets. A lot of lying was involved in this tragedy to try to cover up what really happened. This should be a reason for the DA to file charges against the chicken farmer/dog-killer. I doubt if just one person did the killing. The law should be amended in such a case.
This week's question:
Do you think Antioch's Measure C, a temporary one-half cent sales tax, deserves support? According to supporters, it would allow the city to immediately hire 22 police officers; opponents say the money will go into the general fund and the City Council majority can decide to spend it wherever it wants. What do you think?
Email your response to email@example.com. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.