OLYMPIA, Wash. – A Thurston County homeowner who shot and killed actress Salma Hayek’s dog appears to have been justified, the sheriff's office said Monday.
Hayek’s dog Mozart wandered away from Hayek’s Yelm ranch last week, and her neighbor claims he had to protect his dogs who were being attacked.
The sheriff’s office believes the neighbor who shot Hayek’s dog didn’t break any law – instead they believe the man was defending his own pets.
Hayek calls the tranquil ranch in Yelm a sanctuary for animals.
Her Instagram account is full of videos of the alpacas she raises on the ranch and her beloved dogs; many of them are rescued pets, including Mozart.
Last week, Mozart was found dead along a trail near the property.
Hayek’s caretaker said he was riding on horseback and she had taken several dogs for a walk when Mozart wandered off.
Hayek is calling for justice for Mozart, which she says is a dog who never bit or attacked anyone.
“Nobody is happy about this and it is a very sad event,” said Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza.
Police said Hayek’s neighbor shot Mozart with a pellet gun, nicking his artery. Mozart bled to death trying to make it back home.
But police said the neighbor claims that Hayek’s dogs often wandered onto his property. When he found Mozart and another dog fighting with his German shepherds inside his garage, he fired at Mozart’s hind end. The homeowner told police he meant to scare the dog, not kill it.
“They don’t roam,” said neighbor Emmy Brennan. “I’ve never seen them roam away from the front of her gate.”
Brennan said she walks the road near Hayek’s ranch almost daily and often offers Hayek’s dogs treats. She said the actress’ dogs have always been friendly.
“They’re well-kept, they’re well-fed,” she said. “They act like a normal, domestic dog.”
But police believe the shooting appears to be justified.
“At this time we believe the homeowner was only protecting his animals and not trying to purposely kill or maim a dog,” Snaza said.
Now it’s up to the county prosecutor’s office to determine if the homeowner broke the law. It could be a couple weeks before a decision is made. .