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Hunter charged with shooting of family's dog

January 4, 2012

By Deborah McDermott, SeaCoastOnline.com

YORK, Maine — A local hunter faces criminal charges in connection with shooting a family dog near Scituate Road on Dec. 27.

Gregory Brown, 39, of 9 Scituate Trail was charged with shooting a domestic animal, a Class E criminal offense, said Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden's Service.

Brown was charged with shooting Sophie, a mixed breed 5-year-old dog belonging to Matthew and Heather Henriksen. Sophie was with Heather Henriksen on the afternoon of Dec. 27, on a trail behind the Henriksens' Hooper Shores Road home. The dog had run ahead of Heather when she heard a gunshot.

A hunter now identified by wardens as Brown allegedly shot Sophie in the leg with a 22-caliber rifle, believing she was a coyote. The bullet struck an artery and the dog bled to death before it could be brought to a veterinarian.

Matthew Henriksen said Brown was the first person to call police and asked if he could help in any way. “He didn't take off and hide from it,”
Henriksen said.

Brown was summonsed into court on the charge, and will be arraigned in York District Court on April 5.

MacDonald said the charge carries a penalty of a fine. If Brown is found guilty, his hunting license could be revoked, MacDonald said. The warden's service does not make that determination until after a conviction, he said.

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