CHEYENNE – A candidate for state House District 10 shot and killed his neighbor’s dog in Laramie County when the dog was allegedly harassing his dairy goats through a fence.
Michael Parkins made a Facebook post Tuesday night about the accusations, stating candidate Lars Lone killed his dog, Remy, about two weeks ago for barking.
In an interview Wednesday, Parkins wanted to make clear the dog wasn’t actively attacking the goats the day Remy was shot. The dog was outside of the chain-link fence where the goats were kept, Parkins said, and didn’t get into the goat pen.
Reached Wednesday for comment, Lone said that was not the case. According to Lone, the dog had come onto to his property multiple times and had attacked his goats in the past. Lone said he was fearful of the dog attacking his goats and potentially attacking his children, who play in his yard.
When the dog came to his property this most recent time, Lone said he didn’t know it was his neighbor’s dog. He said the dog had come within about 45 yards of his back porch, where it was harassing his goats.
After he shot the dog, Lone noticed the dog was wearing a collar, but it didn’t have any identification or rabies tags on it. He called a different neighbor to try to see if he knew the dog, and his neighbor identified it as Parkins’ dog.
Lone then went to Parkins’ house to inform him he had shot the dog. Lone added he doesn’t plan on pursuing damages against Parkins for what his dog did to his goats.
Law enforcement was called about the incident, but as of Wednesday afternoon, it was unclear which agency will be handling the case. The Laramie County Sheriff’s Department said the case was turned over to animal control for investigation, but Laramie County Animal Control said they had no comment on the case because it was with the sheriff’s department.
Lt. Mark Hollenbach of the sheriff’s department said he will talk to the deputies involved to figure out what is going on with the case and why the miscommunication is occurring.
Despite some disagreements on how the shooting was handled, Wyoming state law grants the right to livestock owners to shoot dogs in some situations.
“Dogs running livestock against the wish of the owner of the livestock may be killed at once in cases where the livestock has been injured or is threatened with injury,” according to Wyoming state law. “The person killing any dog running livestock is not liable to the owner where the vicious character of the dog or the damage or danger of damage is shown. When livestock is trespassing upon property, the property owner may use dogs to drive and keep off livestock from the property.”
Parkins said that as a livestock owner himself, he thinks this law is still relevant in Wyoming and wouldn’t want his rights as a livestock owner to be infringed upon. It’s an unfortunate situation on both sides, he said.
He’s not contesting Lone’s legal right to shoot his dog, but he disagrees with the way Lone handled the situation. Parkins said he wishes Lone would have just picked up a phone and called him about the problem before it got to this point.
Parkins said he wasn’t aware that Remy had attacked Lone’s goats in the past or caused them any injury. If he had known, Parkins said he would have come to an agreement with Lone to get the goats medical care and send Remy to another loving home.
Before his current bid for the House District 10 seat, Lone served as a Republican state representative from House District 12 from 2016-18.