The man who killed Blizzard — the dog shot while caring for her five puppies — has stepped forward to tell his side of the story.
Blizzard, he said, had a history of wandering onto his property and was one of a number of dogs which had previously attacked and killed his own pet.
So, he said, when he found Blizzard and another dog on his porch, he shot them. In part, due to concern for his grandchildren’s safety.
“I had no idea that the one (dog) had puppies, or I would never have done it,” said the man, who asked not to be identified.
Blizzard’s story was first printed in the Brandon Sun on Thursday.
Her owner described how she and her husband had attended their daughter’s wedding in Toronto, and returned to their farm home near Sandy Lake on Monday to learn that their beloved pet had been shot.
On May 12, a family friend had found Blizzard lying in her dog house with a bullet wound behind her ear, her puppies at her side. She was alive when she was found, but died shortly after.
The owners kept one of the pups and the remaining four were taken in by the Brandon Humane Society, which issued an appeal for any information that led to the identity of the killer.
The puppies are currently under care until they’re old enough to be offered for adoption.
Coverage of the killing brought a fierce backlash in the media against the unidentified shooter, prompting him to step forward on Friday.
“I’ve already contacted RCMP and told them that I’m the person who shot the dog,” the man said.
He says he’s the neighbour of Blizzard’s owners and he’s had ongoing issues with the dog and her offspring from previous litters.
The animals have strayed onto his property and torn up his garbage, he said. In the past, he said, he has been patient — he would phone the owners to inform them where their dogs were, and on at least one occasion, loaded them into his own car to take them home.
Things reached a head, however, when he arrived home on March 20 to find Blizzard and two of her pups from a previous litter sitting on his deck.
His own dog, a Norwegian Elkhound named Lucy, lay on the grass covered in blood. He said that, as he watched, Blizzard and the other dogs on the deck then attacked Lucy and his dog died the next day.
The man says Blizzard’s owner asked him to shoot his dogs but he didn’t feel comfortable. Instead, he made a complaint to the RM of Park.
The man said he was then sent a letter informing him that Blizzard’s owners had agreed to keep their dogs locked up.
He says an RM official told him he had the right to shoot the dogs if they returned. The shooter also cited a section of the Animal Liability Act which gives property owners the right to shoot dogs if they’re trespassing and worrying, injuring or killing livestock.
Meanwhile, RM council was supposed to hold a meeting on June 5 to determine whether Blizzard and the other dogs should be declared dangerous and put down.
Blizzard’s owners did destroy one of their dogs, the neighbour said.
That didn’t settle the matter, though. He said that on May 12, he found Blizzard and another dog on his deck and his garbage torn again. Believing he had the legal right, he grabbed a gun and shot them both.
One dog died on the spot but it appears Blizzard dragged herself home to die in her dog house.
The shooter said his grandchildren were due to visit his home that day and he was concerned for their safety. Blizzard and the other dogs had never threatened the kids, but he said he wasn’t going to take that chance.
He says he didn’t want to kill the dogs — it was something that should have been done after they mauled his pet on March 20.
Shoal Lake RCMP couldn’t immediately be reached for comment but the man said he hasn’t received word whether he’ll be charged.
RM of Park CEO Chad Davies confirms that on March 26 a dog complaint was received from the man who identified himself as Blizzard’s killer.
Council discussed the matter that same day, Davies said, and the RM then sent the man a letter informing him that they couldn’t destroy Blizzard and the other dogs involved in the attack on Lucy.
Basically, the animal control officer would have had to catch them in the act.
As an alternative, council could hold a hearing and declare the dogs dangerous and have them put down and such a hearing was scheduled for June 5.
On their part, Blizzard’s owner has said the dog had been tied up but they returned home to find her collar and chain hanging on a fence.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 19, 2012