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Family says neighbor killed their dog over dispute: ‘It just doesn’t make any sense’

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PORT ORCHARD, Wash.  — A property dispute in Port Orchard turned violent over the weekend.

The owners of a 3-year-old basset hound said their neighbor shot and killed her because she wouldn’t stay out of her neighbor’s yard.

“It just doesn’t make any sense of why anybody would shoot a basset hound,” said Annette Fritz.

Annette said the dog, named Butterfinger, was a gift for her husband three years ago on Father’s Day.

The dispute started last spring when the Fritz family said their neighbor complained that Butterfinger kept going into his yard.

But last weekend, Marty Fritz, Annette’s husband, said his dog ran home crying out in pain.

“It was a holler,” he said, “I’ve never heard a dog holler like that.”

Marty noticed a small wound on Butterfinger and then confronted his neighbor.

“I said, did you shoot my dog? He said, ‘I did.’ And I instantly dialed — I said, I’m calling the sheriff,” said Marty.

The Fritzs said animal control officers told them that a necropsy confirmed that Butterfinger was shot with a pellet gun.

“Had went through his liver and through his stomach and that he was hemorrhaging really bad because it ricocheted,” said Annette.

And now the tightly knit family wants their neighbor to face justice for killing their beloved pet.

“He shouldn’t shoot anybody’s dog,” said Marty,

The Kitsap Humane Society is investigating the case and it could be referred to the county prosecutor.

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30 comments

  • Truk

    The man who shot this poor dog needs to be felt with. If you are reading this you coward POS, if that had been my dog I would be the one the prosecutor would be after. You would have nothing to worry about ever again.

  • Derek

    Im happy the dog is dead. It charged at the neighbor he feared for his life. Legal shooting.
    Respect property rights people.
    My dog was shot about eight years ago outside Ellensburg. My fault for not keeping my dog off of other peoples property.
    Everything i said above is what the sheriff said to me.

    • Annette

      The shooter has 2 dogs of his own that come in our yard as much or more than our Bassett hound went in his. His border collie & our dog had pups together. Caught them hooked up twice on our back deck. The article talked about a dispute that happened months ago. When our dogs had pups I took all 8 of them over & showed them to him & his family. We really thought all was well. He is pretty arrogant. He yelled at our grandson for riding his 10 speed bicycle down the driveway, told him to walk by his house because one of his dogs chase cars & bikes when you drive by. It is the easement road for the 4 homes up here. The easement is on the other owners land that we all share. It just crazy when you have dogs that run loose & shoot somebody else’s dog for the same thing your dogs do. We have lived her for 28 years. Our neighbor that shot our dog has lived here 8 months, didn’t know he would do what he did. Aww I probably shouldn’t be responding to all this but there more to the story, it’s not that we just let our dog run to all the neighbors yards. Our neighbor that saw us burying our dog said to us, for crying out loud the guy that shot your dogs needs to know his dogs chase my chickens, I just yell at them to go home….leaves us scratching our heads & miss our basset hound that loved everybody.

      • barbara norton

        Thank you for the extra information Annette there is always more to the story. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pet, May Butterfinger rest in peace.

      • LN

        Why do you have unfixed dogs. they run off more AND we murder 10K dogs/cats/day in US shelters for being homeless. NO reason to not spay your dog! if you had spayed her she might not have run off. Shame on you for having unfixed dogs. Shame on your neighbor for shooting her but no one should have unfixed dogs!!! They run off tons and tons more

    • Fred

      What are you thinking Derek? You are a fool! For one it was a Bassett hound. For two that dog would not hurt a fly so no it did not charge him. The dog wasn’t even on his property thus throwing your theory out the window. Granted, both owners probably should have kept their dogs on their own property but it doesn’t give him the right to kill the dog. Have some common sense. And no it’s not a legal shooting. It’s animal cruelty which is a felony in almost every state. The shooter needs to be punished and realize what a jerk he is.

    • Mark

      I’m a former neighbor of the Fritz’s. Butterfinger did not charge anyone. Butterfinger used to come over in my yard all the time. When I did not want her there, I’d tell her to go home and she would. Butterfinger played with my young kids and my dogs and never, ever showed any sign of violence. So quit spreading lies about the dog charging the neighbor. The dog did not! Speaking of property rights – I was told that the dog wasn’t even shot on that man’s property! He shot the dog outside of his property!

    • Aaron

      Oh, just shut up. I have a bassett hound, and I love her to death. But, I live in a rural area and I understand the utter misery of having neighbors dogs constantly coming onto my property, causing damage, destroying things, killing my chickens, and even carrying off my expensive work boots. While I personally can’t bring myself to shoot these dogs, I completely understand why some people might do it. It is the dog owners who don’t take responsibility. The “Karma” is on them when their dogs get hurt, run over in the road or shot. I don’t blame the property owners who get fed up and finally take action because they have no other choice.

  • CBP

    Fences are pricey. Why should any property owner have to bear the expense of a fence because the owner refuses to control his dog? This dead dog is directly on the shoulders of the owner.

    If you yahoos can’t keep your dog in your own yards you should not possess any dog of any kind.

    Bassetts make big piles of crap and it gets agravating to lose your own yard to a neighbors crapping dog.
    What’s next for a pet…. A cow!!!!????

  • Richard Cosner

    I see both sides being wrong in this- to start with the dog owners should have kept their dog on their property. There are also laws that require pet owners to restrain their pets to their property. I do not know the specific laws for the area but I am sure that there was a city ordnance. The other thing we do not know is if they complained and the family of the dog ignored the complaints- I have had that happen to me where I complain to the pet owners about their pet coming into my yard and met with anger and lack of concern about their pet coming into my yard, yes I live in an area where the leash laws are enforced. So is it the dog’s fault, no! To me it is the pet owners fault and especially if they knew the dog was going over to their neighbors property! The pet owner should have cared enough for their pet to protect it and ensure it’s safety by keeping the pet on their property. If you let it leave your property at will then you are not caring about the pet and they endangered the pet by letting it roam the streets, and community. The person who shot the dog should not have did it to cause it permanent harm, there are better ways to handle the situation. To me this story is more about the lack of being responsible pet owners, just as much as it is about abusing an animal.

    • Richard Cosner

      This is the problem with pet owners, they think their pets do no wrong! BOTH parties are wrong no matter how you look at it. Just because one person let’s their dog loose doesn’t mean the entire neighborhood should. And did anyone call the Sheriff for an aggressive dog that chases cars or bicycles? No? Guess what? Don’t complain after the fact about what they do or don’t do! I am not defending the dumb idiot that shot the dog with a pellet gun but I can’t see anyone intending to kill a dog with a pellet gun. In the end- BOTH are wrong!

  • Linda Szymoniak

    The monster who shot and killed this dog needs to be charged and serve some serious prison time. However, the owners are not completely without fault, too. When you have a dog, it is YOUR responsibility to provide a safe environment for it. This includes a secure fenced yard, or at least a tether to use when the dog goes outside to potty or be on a leash with the owner. From what the article said, the dog had been going into the neighbor’s yard prior to this incident. So, the neighbor was wrong to shoot the dog, but if the owner had just kept him in his own yard, this wouldn’t have happened. The only innocent in this story is dead.

    • Annette

      This is crazy. The guy who shot the dog has 2 dogs of his own that are in our yard also. This guy is arrogant & he knows his dog is in our yard as much or more than Butterfinger was in his yard. Not one time did he tell us Butterfinger did any thing wrong. For Pete’s sake his dog & Butterfinger had pups together. 8 beautiful part bassett hound & border collie. I took all the pups over & showed them to him. We are heart sick over this. After he shot the dog we put Butterfinger, the bassett hound, in his fenced area. Their dog jumped our fenced & laid down beside Butterfinger. They were dog friends. We would never hurt his dog. We live up from the road our dogs never go to the road. He has 2 border collies that still come in our yard. No he won’t have to worry about our bassett hound in his yard ever again. If we would have known he would shoot our dog we would have kept him fenced in. As I said his dogs are in our yard as well. There is no rhyme or reason to this.

    • Annette

      More to the story, the guy that shot our Bassett hound has 2 dogs that do poop in our front yard. Our dog pooped in our back field & always has way before they moved here. His dog & Butterfinger had pups together. They were dog friends! They got hooked up twice on our back deck! I took the 8 pups to his house & showed him the pups. We had no clue he’d shoot our dog. When the confrontation happened months ago, we both shared that each of our dogs were in our yards. What was his complaint if he didn’t keep his dogs home. We have a fenced area for our dog that we put her in after she was shot, his dog jumped the fence later that afternoon & was laying beside Butterfinger.. They were dog buddies. We’ve lived up here for 25 years or more, he just moved here 8 or 9 months ago. They have just moved into their home they built. They were living in a trailer camp style, so they haven’t even got a defined yard yet. Butterfinger was a friend to everyone, didn’t know a stranger. All said & done, when we called the sheriff before Butterfinger died we told him we were not going to press charges, just ask him to please not shoot our dog again. Jim apologized for shooting our dog. The next morning we checked on Butterfinger & she appeared to be ok. Left for church came home 2 hours later & Butterfinger was dead in her bed, just should not have happened…i

  • Danny

    When my neighbor shot my little girls cat with a pellet gun we made a complaint to the police and the humane society and no one even bothered to talk to the crazy old fart about it. He was bragging about it and we had witnesses. Could be the same guy. Kitsap county doesn’t care if someone shoots your pet.

    • Jared

      Why are the people who this happens to, Danny in particular, so afraid of beating the living FUCK out of them? Who cares about the charge you will get. It would have been worth it. If someone killed my dog I’d beat the shit out of them, but if they BRAGGED about it? I’d beat them within an inch of their life, until they either begged me to stop or they were beaten unconscious. I would then PROCEED to STOMP the guy’s nuts about FIFTY times as HARD as I could.

      • Jared

        Believe it or not, but even all THAT amount of pain inflicted on said person would be a single drop in an entire bucket of water compared to my pain if my dog suffered and died like that.

      • S&W

        You know that he has at least one weapon. Had you considered that he may retaliate in a way that you can’t recover from, if you do beat him that severely and he recovers. Also I recommend rethinking this out. If you happen to live in a state with a castle doctrine. One state that has it, allowed a man to chase down one attacker down the street with a shotgun, killed him; then chased the other one running in the opposite direction and killing him also.

  • AR

    Did this pet receive any veterinary care immediately after the incident?! If this was a case of hemorrhaging, this could have been detected through ultrasound and the dog could have been treated appropriately to possibly save his life.

  • Chris

    I am a family friend of the guy who shot the dog and he is upset with the outcome of this situation. He never meant to do anything other than scare the dog. And wanted to apologize in person but was told that they would not want him on their property and is respecting that. The past several months the man had complained to the owners that both of their dogs were being aggressive towards his kids and dogs. His kids would come running back to the house when the Fritzs dogs were loose near his property and several times a week he has had to break up dog fights on his property between Butterfinger and his dogs. Mr. fritz had even once witnessed his dog coming within feet of attacking the mans kids and Mr. Fritzs response when approached was to kick, throw rocks or shoot his dogs with a BB gun and that he needed to go then drove off. it was then that the family had given up on resolving the situation with the family. I showed up to visit the family after all this happened and I know it was suggested that the dog be taken to a vet immediately to make sure she was okay and that the family wanted to pay for any needed vet bills. It sounds like from previous posts that is not what happened and the dogs death could have been prevented. By no means does this make what happened right but it may give you an idea of what was happening on the other side of the road.

      • Annette

        Thank you, As I said his dogs are in our yard as much or more. Butterfinger has never been aggressive to my knowledge, even when she had pups,that I brought all of them over & showed them to our neighbors. We kept all the pups fenced until we found happy owners for them. Our other dog Huckleberry does stay in our yard. When they first moved here she would chase their dogs back in their yard. I wish I had known they were upset with Butterfinger. That morning his dog was in our yard playing with Butterfinger, after she got shot we brought her in the house but she wanted back outside so we put her in her shed in our fenced area,their black & white border collie dog jumped our fence & was laying beside Butterfinger! We did think Butterfinger was going to be allright, but the pellet went through his liver & stomach, , the vet did say it would have cost $1000.00 or more to try & save Butterfinger but because the pellet had ricocheted inside causing extensive damage they would not have been able to save her. We live up here off the main road & out of city limits i truly thought all was well, We have a great dog fenced area we could have kept Butterfinger pinned up, but as I said the neighbors dog jumped the fence & would play with Butterfinger anyway.
        Sounds like both our perceptions are so different….

    • Fred

      You wanna know something Chris? Maybe your friend should quit talking out both sides of his mouth. He gets mad about the Bassett hound on his property but what about his dogs running all over the place, pooping on the neighbors front porch and eating all their dogs dog food? Anyone who would shoot a dog that’s in perfect health, not attacking them and NOT on their property hs absolutely no common sense. The shooter needs to be convicted of animal cruelty which in Washington, as well as most states, is a felony. There is ways to keep a dog off your property without shooting and killing it.

  • matt

    Fuck that dog and their owner. You keep uour dog off others peoples property. If they told you once and you didnt heed his warning, then you should be pelleted.