Man allegedly kills small pet dog with pruning shears

This file photo shows a small pet dog, named Chewy, that was later allegedly killed by a man weilding pruning shears, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Nancy Jean, St. George News

Ed. note: This article contains a graphic photo of the dog involved in the incident. Reader discretion is advised.

ST. GEORGE — Several residents are questioning the lack of police action involving the death of a Yorkshire Terrier allegedly killed by a neighboring man when the dog wandered into his yard Friday afternoon.

St. George Police officers were dispatched to the area of 2040 East in St. George at approximately 4:30 p.m. on report of the dog’s death.

A news release to St George Police Department’s Facebook page described the incident:

“What is known and is not in dispute, is that a small dog entered the neighbor’s yard and approached the man, who was maintaining his landscaping. The man swung a long handled pruning sheer at the dog when it approached him. The sheers ended up striking the dog in the head, killing it instantly.”

The release points out the killing was witnessed by the dog owner’s young daughter, worsening the circumstances of the incident.

After an outpouring of support and anger posted to the dog owner’s Facebook page, many people questioned why no action had yet been taken by police.

Police said they are still actively investigating the incident. Statements from all parties have been collected, but officers are still trying to acquire any possible witness statements.

As the investigation unfolds, enforcement action is actively being considered based on animal cruelty laws.

However, determining the mental intent of the suspect at the time of the incident creates complexities for law enforcement, the news release notes.

“We must be able to show an intent level to determine what penalties may be imposed if the suspect is convicted.  It also impacts what options the officer has when determining whether to cite or arrest a suspect,” the department said in the news release.

In the course of the investigation so far, police received conflicting accounts of what the suspect’s intent was when he encountered the dog.

Since it didn’t happen in the presence of an officer, any arrest made would have to fall under a narrow set of circumstances to be determined by the prosecutor’s office.

“The St. George Police Department does feel that this incident is significant and has had a significant impact on the children and family who own the dog,” the news release assures readers.

“We are trying to do the RIGHT thing to address this situation.”

A small dog lies dead after being killed by a man with pruning shears, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Nancy Jean, St. George News
A small dog lies dead after being killed by a man with pruning shears, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Nancy Jean, St. George News

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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34 Comments

  • Jamie November 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Thats not the full story! …
    Ed. ellipsis – Jamie, we have emailed you separately with no reply. We are interested in the information you have but cannot publish it with first discussing with you. I have saved it apart from the comment forum. Please email me directly with contact information so we may talk.
    ST. GEORGE NEWS
    Joyce Kuzmanic
    Editor in Chief

  • t November 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Killing the dog may be legal but it was an act of a coward!

    • .... November 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

      You said coward ! oh I wasn’t aware this is an article about RealLowlife !

  • Real Life November 12, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    “We are trying to do the RIGHT thing to address this situation.” Ummm, that would involve a pair of pruning shears to the skull.

    • .... November 13, 2016 at 8:14 am

      ” We are trying to do the RIGHT thing to address this situation.” Ummm, that would involve a pair of pruning shears to the skull. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh !

      • Real Life November 13, 2016 at 8:56 am

        Looks like stupid has another day off. Shocker! Get a job, and get off the pills!

        • .... November 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          I agree with your comment 100 % stupid. you need to get a job and get off the pills .you said it stupid !

  • Bob November 12, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    the dead pig photos made me hungry for bacon but this is just gross. lol

    • Susan November 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Wow! Such compassion.

      • .... November 14, 2016 at 7:52 am

        Don’t mind Dumbob he likes to come here and impress his ( special ) little buddy RealLowlife and show just how stupid and ignorant he truly is

      • .... November 14, 2016 at 7:54 am

        Yeah Dumbob and RealLowlife could actually pass as husband and wife LOL !

  • Bob November 13, 2016 at 12:00 am

    those lil dogs can get real nasty & mean. let’s not rush to judgement w/o the full story

    • Susan November 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Apparently they aren’t the only one’s.

    • Bob November 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      LOL, on a positive note, at least the dog’s head wasn’t clipped clean off

  • ladybugavenger November 13, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Terrible! I feel bad for the kids they are going to be traumatized for life. Prayers to the family.

  • darkgoddess November 13, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Seriously, did this idiot think this little bitty dog was a threat to him??? This was an absolutely uncalled for reaction! Not like he was being approached by a large, growling Doberman or Rottweiler that was running at him. Geez!

  • desertgirl November 13, 2016 at 7:47 am

    So the dog killed itself? Long past time for the law to enforce animal cruelty laws. Of course, civilized human beings know this was not cruel this is murder of an animal and a family member
    . This guy should be charged, sent to jail for a long time.

    • .... November 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

      No they only send people to prison for Marijuana possession in Utah

  • mrsmith November 13, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Reality much? The most the prosecutors office would have here is property damage. How do you present evidence here? The accused was on his own property. I don’t think they will get anywhere with charges. The prosecutors office has much better things to worry about. The most you have here is a civil case in the lower courts. Maybe $500 but that would be a tough sell.

  • 42214 November 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Some jerk kills a small dog on his property and provokes community outrage and 12 comments on the story. The “jerk”deserves some form of consequences. Officer Cody Brotherson is killed last week in the line of duty and his story generated zero comments or apparent interest. Interesting, just saying.

  • mater November 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    ok all you perfect people i’m sorry that acute little dog got killed but lets face it it a natural reaction to swat at a nuisance im sure you’ve all swatted at flies or other annoyances with what ever as in your hands at the time the guy probably feels like crap as it is but your words and his regrets cant change a thing __it happens let the neighbors work it out

  • ladybugavenger November 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Here comes the law against pruning sheets….oh wait! Hillary is not President…carry on.

    • .... November 14, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Pruning sheets ?

      • Real Life November 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        Good thing your grammar is never put to the test. Loser.

        • .... November 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

          I agree with your comment 100 % good thing YOUR grammar ain’t never got put to the test eh ? Hey you said it stupid !

    • ladybugavenger November 14, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      It’s a new thing haha you know what I mean

  • jigsywinnietippy12 November 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I lived in St. George for several years, beautiful city. When I worked in my yard I always had my dog on a chain attached to a stake in the yard. She loved sitting in the yard, and I never let her run loose on the street. I took good care of her, and took her for a walk on a leash every day. One day when I was working in my yard, someone took some shots at my dog with a bee bee gun, just for fun I guess. I could hear shots hitting the driveway near where she was sitting. I am happy that she did not get shot. They lived above me, and had a good view of us from their balcony. Most people don’t have a lot of respect for animals. So the moral of the story is, don’t let your animal run loose in the street, wherever you live. This is very sad, but most people don’t want to deal with animals, especially when they come in their yards. Unfortunately, there are some very nasty and violent people around these days.

    • .... November 14, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Well be glad your not living there now with people like RealLowlife and Dumbob socially polluting every where they go. Yeah them 2 are .. ( special ) friends.

  • dodgers November 14, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Terrible thing to happen to a dog. We should be asking why the dog wasn’t restrained—on a leash. Too many pets are killed because of irresponsible owners. Perhaps this dog would still be alive if properly protected. The dog’s owners share some responsibility in this situation.

  • JC November 14, 2016 at 11:33 am

    You should honestly know …
    Ed. ellipsis – JC, the email you have included appears to be fictitious. We are interested in the information you have but cannot publish it without first discussing with you. I have saved it apart from the comment forum. Please email me directly with contact information so we may talk.
    ST. GEORGE NEWS
    Joyce Kuzmanic
    Editor in Chief

    • Bob November 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      lol what?

      • .... November 15, 2016 at 8:32 am

        Obviously it’s none of your business stupid !

  • Dawn November 15, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Why wasn’t this dog on a leash ? Yorkies can be very aggressive…if the man was startled by a dog barking at and trying to maybe bite his leg, and turned and swung his tool at it…well , sorry …TOO BAD !!
    The dog “approached him” ???? How often do dogs “approach” strangers, in the strangers yard, close enough to get hit.. Unless they are being nasty or aggressive ?????

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