Photo via MSN NZ
Sad news out of New Zealand for animal lovers today--in what's being described as the nation's worst case of animal cruelty, two brothers allegedly went on a canine shooting spree, killing 33 dogs. Most of the dogs belonged to their neighbor, and the act was likely a vendetta--the brothers had gotten into a dispute with the neighbor after they claimed his dogs had killed their fox terrier. Police have seized the two brothers' weapons, according to the Associated Press. No charges have been filed yet, but after the forensic examination of the dead dogs is completed, charges of animal cruelty and possibly reckless discharge of a weapon are expected to be brought by New Zealand's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The brothers could face up to 3 years in prison.
The AP has an account of the story:
Media reports said Russell Mendoza had confronted a neighbor, Rowan Hargreaves, complaining that one of Hargreaves' 39 dogs had killed his fox terrier. Mendoza and another man, armed with a .22 rifle and a shotgun, later returned to Hargreaves' property and shot 33 dogs, including 23 puppies and very young dogs.Nothing like murdering puppies with a shotgun to settle a dispute.
Accounts of the scene paint an extremely disturbing picture, as you can imagine. "It was a haunting scene of death and destruction, and I struggle to comprehend what took place there," SPCA investigator Sascha Keltie told the AP. She also said that the bullet wounds on the dogs indicated that they had died slow deaths, and that they had left bloody trails which "were consistent with an injured dog moving." A different inspector said the shooters must have been on a "frenzied mission" to cause so much carnage.