No charges in Yampa dog shooting
Sheriff’s office says rancher was within his rights
Steamboat Springs — There will be no charges in the shooting death of Mr. Bubbles, the 3-year-old English boxer killed in a field outside of Yampa in late May, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.
Animal Control Officer Cindy DelValle got the last of the witness statements in Wednesday and determined that no charges should be filed, Sheriff’s Office investigator and spokesman Ken Klinger said.
“At this point, it appears there will be no criminal charges filed on anybody down there based on the statements,” Klinger said. “They were warned several times by several people to keep the dog on their property.”
State law says it’s fair to kill a dog if “the dog was found running, worrying or injuring sheep, cattle or other livestock.”
Part landowner and rancher of the property Gary Clyncke shot the dog on the ranch in the 13000 block of Routt County Road 7, south of Yampa.
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On Thursday, his wife, Anne Clyncke, said she warned the dog’s owner, Joshua Flaharty, four times before her husband shot the dog.
“I’m actually the person who warned them,” she said. “I drove up and told them that it was out and that it had been out previously, and that if it was caught in with the cattle it would be shot.”
Anne Clyncke said the dog previously was seen near horses and “standing down” her 8-year-old son. She said that as Gary Clyncke was getting ready to leave on the morning of May 31, he saw the cattle running and saw the dog in the middle of the field.
“Basically, he saw the cows running, saw the dog in the pasture and shot the dog,” she said. She said the “worrying” portion of the law includes when dogs are stalking cattle or causing them to run. When that happens, the cattle can run into fences or be run to death, she said.
Flaharty said previously that the dog was in a field and not near any animals. He said there was calving on a different part of the ranch. The dog was shot May 31, not May 29 as Flaharty previously reported. Flaharty did not return calls Thursday afternoon.
Klinger said there is no set distance the dog must stay away from the livestock.
Anne Clyncke said the pasture where the dog was shot is 25 acres and that the mobile home where Flaharty was staying is on about 2 acres near the middle of the ranch. There are no fences between the properties, she said.
“The dog was let out of the trailer and just let go; it was never leashed or anything,” she said. She said Flaharty was offered a chain for the dog.
Flaharty said he let the dog go out to go to the bathroom for less than a minute. He said he heard the shot as he was searching for the dog.
Anne Clyncke said the most important thing was the livestock.
“People up here know what the law is and know what the results are. I, myself, know that if our family dog — good dog, love her to death — starts chasing cattle, she would be shot,” she said. “The most important thing is to protect the livestock.”
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