Yes, you read that headline correctly. Last Saturday, a Bellingham banker named David William Latham who was upset with his neighbor’s barking dog picked up a rifle, walked up to his neighbor’s fence, and, without saying a word, shot a 13-month-old corgi named Molly in the chest.
Loyce Andrews told KIRO News that Molly died in her arms in her backyard on Undine Street.
“He just came up to the fence and shot her in the chest,” Ms. Andrews said. “I held her the whole time she was dying; she was on the grass. She was screaming and panting.”
A friend of Ms. Andrews gave her Molly last January after another of her corgis died of lymphoma.
Police said the William was upset about “dogs in the area barking continuously.”
The Bellingham Herald reported that the dog that had been barking was “a large-breed” dog. Molly was a corgi which is NOT a large-breed dog. Ms. Andrews and her husband Cary Chunyk have another dog, but it’s a corgi too.
Neither of them had met Latham before.
“He said to the cops, ‘Oh my God, I shot the wrong dog,’” Andrews told KIRO. “As if there’s a right dog.”
Police recovered 7 guns from Latham’s house including the .22-caliber rifle they believe he used to kill Molly.
His lawyer Adrian Madrone said in court yesterday that Latham used a pellet gun to kill Molly, but really, what does it matter?
No matter what weapon he used, Molly is still dead.
“I know Mr. Latham feels terrible about this situation,” Madrone said yesterday according to the Herald. “This is a very serious case that he’s going to be taking very seriously moving forward.”
He feels terrible about the situation? A situation is “all of the facts, conditions, and events that affect someone or something at a particular time and in a particular place.” This isn’t something beyond his control that “affected” him.
This “situation” is completely his fault. He could have easily avoided it by not picking up his rifle and killing Molly.
And it affects many other people besides him. Ms. Andrews said she’s now afraid to go in her backyard, and I’m sure the rest of the neighborhood is concerned about the fact a rifle-wielding dog killer live among them.
Latham was charged with animal cruelty, reckless endangerment and brandishing a firearm. He admitted to police that he shot Molly but he plead not guilty in court.
I don’t know if this guy has mental health problems or if he’s just a cruel bastard, but if it’s the former I hope he gets help. If it’s the latter I hope he’s convicted for what and spends the maximum time possible in jail, which for first degree animal cruelty is five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
My condolences go out to Ms. Andrews and Mr. Chunyk. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be if one of my neighbors walked up to my yard and shot one of my dogs.
Latham’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 26 at 9:30 AM.
To ensure he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, you can email Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney David McEchran at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that he give the maximum penalty to Latham if he is convicted.