I saw the story of James Rudolph and the death of his dog Harley in the Herald-Mail the other day. James was walking Harley, a German Shepherd, Thursday night in Williamsport. He let Harley off her leash briefly so that she could run and play with another dog they saw up ahead. Harley took off chasing after a rabbit instead. A few minutes later, James Rudolph heard gunshots, and found that his dog has been shot three times and killed by James Hurd, who I take to be a neighbor of Rudolph's, though it's difficult to tell because the Herald-Mail story
is so poorly written.
Renee Rudolph, wife of James Rudolph, says she heard two shots, the sound of Harley yelping, followed by a third shot and silence. Having seen her father chasing after the dog, Rudolph's fifteen year-old daughter at first feared that James Hurd had shot her father.
This is not the first time James Hurd has killed someone else's dog for merely setting foot on his property. In 2007 he also shot and killed a Labrador Retriever. That dog belonged to James Rudolph's father-in-law. In an interview with the paper, Hurd claimed Harley was chasing a turkey, which, according to his interpretation of the law, gave him the right to shoot her. James Rudolph, her owner, the man who loosed her from her leash, says she was chasing a rabbit. Hurd also described Harley as "an attack German Shepherd." Renee Rudolph, whose family owned Harley, called her "a goofy little dog that liked to run and play and be silly." I know whose story I believe. Despite the telling assumptions of James Hurd, not everyone who owns a dog trains it to attack people.
James Hurd also said the Rudolph's should pen-up their animals. Conscientous pet owners don't adopt animals just for the sake of it. They feel their dogs, cats, rabbits, what-have-you, deserve a quality of life, not simply to live out their days inside a fence or at the end of a chain.
Hurd also reportedly threatened the Rudolph family when they confronted him after Harley's shooting, telling Renee Rudolph and her father he would shoot them and claim he was shooting at a turkey. The Rudolphs have filed requests for peace orders, and Hurd has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty, for the killing of Harley and the black Lab in 2007. I'm not sure what the maximum punishment for two counts of animal cruelty is, but whatever it is I hope this asshole gets it. People like James Hurd don't deserve the right to own animals or firearms.