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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2003

MAN FACES CHARGES OF SHOOTING DOGS

Central Maine Daily Sentinel, ME

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Hunter allegedly killed 1, shot another

ST. ALBANS -- A Palmyra man faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals after he allegedly killed one dog and shot off a rear foot of another while deer hunting near Denbow Road last month.

Christopher Owens, 34, is scheduled to appear in Skowhegan District Court on Jan. 28. Owens is charged with shooting two dogs, both year-old black German shepherds owned by Christopher Silva of St. Albans. The shootings are not believed to be accidental, according to police.

One of the dogs, named Bear, died after being shot through the chest.

Midnight, from the same litter, was able to return home after one of his rear feet was shot off. Midnight required extensive medical treatment and is still recovering, according to state police Trooper James Medeiros.

Police charged Owens on Wednesday after executing a search warrant at his home on Warren Hill Road, about a half-mile from the Silva residence, according to Medeiros.

That arrest capped a three-week investigation that started when Christopher Silva reported the shootings Nov. 18.

Medeiros said Silva took him to a wooded area about 200 yards from his home where he had found Bear's body.

Medeiros said he found some evidence in the place where Bear's body was found. Later, Medeiros talked with Owens while canvassing the neighborhood.

At first, Owens said he knew nothing of the incident, but Medeiros said some of his statements contradicted known facts.

Other information gathered during the investigation also led back to Owens and eventually to Wednesday's search warrant.

A hunting rifle was seized during the search. Medeiros said he believes the rifle was used in the shootings.

Medeiros said the dogs were the playmates of the Silvas' two small boys and that the Silvas have suffered a financial hardship in the form of veterinary bills for their surviving dog.

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