MARTIN CO.- A shooting has neighbors in one Basin town up in arms. NewsWest 9 received several phone calls about a man shooting a dog and then hanging it on his fence for everyone to see. While that may sound like a crime or even animal abuse, the man believes he had a right to do what he did. NewsWest 9 did some digging and discovered the law agrees.
A dog was pinned over a fence shot dead in Martin County. The owner, Junior Heidelberg, didn't want to do an on camera interview but he says that the dog was a stray and came into his property where he owns several Boer goats. Heidelberg said he saw the dog mutilate two of his goats, one that happens to be pregnant, valued at $600. Heidelberg said he shot the black Labrador.
He says it was unpleasant for him to kill the dog but the goats are his livelihood. It's how he makes money and survives.
The sheriff's office is not commenting on the issue because they say they're not investigating it as a crime and the owner had the right to do what he did. Under Texas Laws regarding Town Dogs: Health and Safety Code Section 822 Dogs that Attack Domestic Animals, it states: "A dog that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked sheep, goats, calves, or other domestic animals or fowls may be killed by any person witnessing or having knowledge of the attack."
The dog was left on the fence as a deterrent. Authorities say it's a nuisance but they say the owner has a right to leave the dog hanging on his property.