Thousands show support online for owners of corgi shot dead in Bellingham backyard

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Molly the corgi was shot and killed in her backyard on Sept. 13, allegedly by a neighbor upset by a barking dog. (Photo courtesy of family)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Bellingham couple is overwhelmed by the support they’ve received after their dog was shot and killed in their backyard, allegedly by a neighbor upset at barking in the area.

Thousands of people have reached out to them online on the ‘Justice for Molly’ Facebook page.

“To envision it still is hard,” an emotional Cary Chunyk said of the events of Sept. 13.

He said Monday that Molly, his 13-month-old corgi, was in the backyard of his Bellingham home on that Saturday night when a neighbor who he’d never seen before came up and shot her point-blank with a rifle.

“I just heard this little pop and Molly just screamed.”

According to court documents, police said the neighbor, David Latham, admitted to officers that he shot the dog because there had been constant barking in the neighborhood.

Chunyk said it was a different animal who had been making the noise.

“It wasn’t even (Molly) the dog barking.”

Data pix.

Since news of Molly’s death started spreading, Chunyk has been receiving cards and flowers from around the country.

“It’s unbelievable, you can’t even fathom what’s happened.”

On Monday night, he and his wife met Josie Rhoads on Skype.

Rhoads lives in Texas, but she’s one of the corgi lovers who helped put together the ‘Justice for Molly’ Facebook page. There are now more than 12,000 followers.

“We thought we were in this fight alone,” said Chunyk. “We found out that there are thousands, if not more, people out there who feel exactly the same way we do.”

They’ve been calling and writing the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office, saying the person who killed Molly should face the strictest punishment possible.

“Pets are family, they’re not just a possession or object. It’s not like he shot my car.”

Chunyk said Latham may only face a few years in prison, if convicted. But he wants the laws changed, so these types of crimes are taken more seriously in the future. He said that’s the only thing that could be justice for Molly.

“The penalty at the end, the max penalty, needs to be tenfold as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

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  • Sara

    I certainly feel bad for the Corgi, the Corgi was innocent. But…as far as an incessantly barking dog goes- if the owner of the dog has been warned and continues to let the dog bark, I am OK with the dog and/or the owner getting a Dirt Nap.

    • Jess Dominguez

      If the owner of the barking dog has been warned, and it doesn’t stop, there are nuisance laws to protect your right to not be bother with incessant noise. A barking dog should NEVER equal violence. That you think so is disgusting.

    • Paul V

      I would only pray that one of your children doesn’t disturb a neighbor to the point that the neighbor decides that a “dirt nap” is a suitable solution to remove the annoyance!

    • Daniel

      Sara, I bet you are a gun nut who thinks that problems get fixed by shooting whatever is causing trouble. You should be ashamed of yourself. If a dog is being a nuisance, you call your local police district and they will handle the situation like they would do with any other noise problem.

    • Noel

      when people abuse animals its a short hop to abusing humans.. FACT! barking dogs are annoying if it goes on and on, so are noisy playful children at times. Thankfully on this occasion it wasn’t a human that was being annoying but it doesn’t make molly’s death any better. The guy is reported to have been drinking, had 9 guns and brandished it and used it in a public place. That is enough for a stay in prison for a long long time in my book! There are legal alternatives to protect the dogs and deal with neglectful owners… but this guy took the law into his own hands. if you are for people acting in this way watch out because that is the point at which law and order breaks down and everyone is in the firing line.

    • Brittany

      Wow. So if your kids were outside playing and the neighbor got sick of it, would it be OK to kill your children, even if he already complained? Peoples dogs are family, at least mine are, so shooting my animal is like shooting my child. No excuse.

  • tigershark8

    I live in a neighborhood where the dogs start barking at 7AM and don’t stop until midnight. Dozens of them, Its like a rolling thunder of infectious, drooling idiots unable to control themselves; like the scene from Cuckoos Nest when all the crazy people in the mental institution get overly excited and they all start screaming and slobbering and banging there heads against the bars because Jack Nicholson made some excitable noise. I often work late and need to sleep until at least 9AM. Not a chance. At 7AM, every day, the idiots start barking. It isn’t some lousy neighborhood either. The least expensive homes here are in the million dollar range. Is there a website where I can contribute money to this guy’s defense fund?

  • Kristel

    Sorry people, dogs do what comes natural to them, IT IS UP TO THE OWNERS TO CONTROL/TRAIN THEM, Killing the dogs is just NOR an option and is SO WRONG THERE ARE NO WORDS…. You can always report the owners to the police!!!

  • Truth

    Don’t feed the trolls. There are going to be people commenting on here (like Sara and Tigershark) who are looking to get a rise out of people. They do nothing but spend all day online looking for articles to comment on and cause arguments while waiting for mom to bring them more MtDew and Pizza Rolls. Pay them no attention.

  • H.K.S.

    So I sympathize with the shooter- I have tried to get a response from city officials for barking dogs before (another city) and it was an absolutely worthless effort. My quality of life was seriously impacted – quality of sleep and stress level. Barking dogs are rude (yes, I have owned dogs, no they didn’t bark. Dogs can learn not to bark quite easily, just like they learn not to get on the couch- it is all up to the owner. Rude owners let their dogs behave badly, and this includes barking. If the city doesn’t respond, and a vigilante then takes the quality of his/her own life into their own hands- who are you to complain? Dog owners need to be responsible. Do you let your kids throw rocks through the neighbors’ windows? Well then you shouldn’t let your dog bark either, when your neighbor is trying to relax (or sleep so they can work the next day). Maybe he should have sued for loss of sleep and reduced quality of life instead of shooting the dog, but then again, maybe not. Clean up your dogshit, teach your dog not to bark, or don’t own a dog-

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