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Midland County Man Seeks Justice For The Death of His Best Friend 10/4/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
October 4, 2012
Midland County, TX – A Midland man is seeking justice for the death of his best friend, a 3-year-old dog named Ruger. Marv Esterly says his neighbor, Stanley Atnipp, shot and killed his pet without a reason.
"Ruger had a special place in our hearts, especially mine ... pet owners really realize how they become our children," stated dog owner Marv Esterly.
Esterly says another neighbor was trying to retrieve the dogs after they escaped their yard and entered into Atnipp’s front yard. He says that Atnipp took unnecessary force by going into his home and getting his shotgun.
Esterly says Atnipp threatened to shoot the good Samaritan and then fired on the dog... killing, 3-year-old Ruger on scene. Now the dog owner, Marv Esterly, is seeking justice.
"We will seek every legal action that's of course on the criminal side, but also on the civil side to make sure that this horrid crime does not go unpunished," said Esterly.
Midland deputies have charged Atnipp with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and now have a warrant out for his arrest for cruelty against a non-livestock animal.
"The dogs were in his yard … yes, but they were not doing anything. They were not a threat. There was no turmoil or any problem with the animals. So there is no justification for the shooting," said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter.
Deputies say although the dogs were in Atnipp’s yard, a property owner does not have the right to kill an animal unless they are threatening their safety.
Midland County Sheriff's Office says they plan on arresting Stanley Atnipp today on charges of animal cruelty.