Here’s What George Smith Has to Say…

Original Source:

Controversy Erupts Over Dog Shooting

Submitted by George Smith on Sat, 11/05/2011 – 10:10am.

This could have been predicted.

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Legislators targeted coyotes as a major culprit in the devastating decrease in the state’s deer population.

The department created an ambitious Maine Game Plan for Deer, designed to rebuild the herd. It too targets coyotes for intensive hunting and trapping. The legislature enacted sweeping legislation to beef up the game plan, even going so far as to extend the coyote night-hunting season.

The message could not be clearer: hunters must kill more coyotes.

The Fish and Wildlife Department, in addition to launching a “targeted focused coyote hunting” initiative, has been encouraging all sportsmen to hunt coyotes recreationally, and published how-to advice.

And Seth White, a 53-year-old man in Orrington, was hunting deer on Wednesday (November 2) when he saw a coyote in the woods. He shot it.

The coyote turned out to be a 2-year-old German shepherd that had run off after being let out of the house by owner Maggie Cota.

When she was shot, the dog was not wearing a collar or the bandana pictured in this photo posted on the Bangor Daily News website by her owner.

Now White is in a heap of trouble, the Fish and Wildlife Department is swamped with calls and questions, and fingers of blame are pointing in all directions.

My sympathy lies with the owners of the dog. I am sincerely sorry for their loss. And I mean that, as a dog lover and hunter.

Maine game wardens have charged White with shooting a domestic animal, a class E crime. He is also subject to civil litigation and penalties.

No citation was given to the dog’s owners for allowing their dog to run at large. More controversy.

I’m working to track down the entire story, and will publish it if I can verify all the facts.

But you could see this coming.