Suffield Police, DEEP Investigating Shooting Deaths of Beagles

Three dogs were reportedly killed by a teenager in early November.

Three dogs were shot and killed by a 13-year-old boy in early November, and state and local agencies are investigating whether criminal charges may be filed against the boy and his father.

The dogs, all beagles, were named Otis, Peaches and Lil Bit, according to an email Patch received from Dan Rollet, who said he found the dead animals on property off East Street South on Nov. 10.

"The dog owners are looking to pursue charges, and I have to see what's applicable and what's going to fit," Lt. Rick Brown told the Hartford Courant.

Police Chief Michael Manzi said the dogs' owners are "decent guys who come in and hunt rabbits and pheasant, and they always get permission to hunt and bring their five dogs."

Manzi said the dogs were reportedly chasing deer which were being hunted by the unnamed man and his son, and the boy shot and killed the dogs.

The dogs' owners, Richard Johnson and his son, Ray Shelton, called police after Rollet discovered the dead bodies.

Manzi said the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection "is taking the lead on the investigation," with help from Suffield police.

gary reynolds December 08, 2012 at 05:52 AM
why is the shooter unnamed.....If you think you are right, put your name on it...man up.
Maria Giannuzzi December 08, 2012 at 10:33 AM
The facts as presented in this article indicate that all the individuals involved were irresponsible hunters. DEEP needs to investigate this incident thoroughly and enforce any regulations that were violated.
Toby December 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM
If his father was with him ,he is responsible for his sons actions. They should both lose their hunting licenses and firearms.
Maria Giannuzzi December 08, 2012 at 12:54 PM
An irresponsible father, indeed! I hope the owners of the land on which this so-called "hunting" was taking place will reconsider the use of their property for this purpose.
Karen's Dog Training Blog December 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Rest in peace little Beagles. I have two Beagles and cannot imagine having someone shoot them. When is it ok to kill dogs chasing a deer just because you want to shoot the deer? The fact that they hid the dogs shows they need what they did was wrong.. Very sad.
Rick U. December 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Incredible - absolutely horrible. The father admitted he told the kid to shoot the dogs (at least according to the JI). What kind of sicko is this? He deserves whatever comes to him. Pets to many people are like family members. You jerk.
Karen Chapman December 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I cried when I read this story. Hunting dog's are hunting dog's. I have 3 Brit's.....hunters with a passion. If some SOB hurt them, they would have a fight on their hands...Super big time. I don't care where they were were. I'm sure the dogs killed would not have hurt one human being. Shame on that father. Bullies with shotguns. If the owners of the beagles need help financially with prosecuting these people, I am willing to help. I am not a wealthy person, but am 100% willing to help. I have 3 dog's like Peaches, Otis, and Juliette, and if anyone harmed them, I would be there to protect them. Owner of Peaches, Otis and Juliette, if you need help, let me know through this article. I will be there to help. I promise! MASS owner of hunting dogs
Frank Viniconis December 09, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I hope the DEP checked for his landowner permit. Dogs can chase Deer all day long as Deer are not considered "Livestock". Beagles are known to roam but always come back to where the hunt started. It is totally against the law to shoot a dog in a cornfield, let alone three where no livestock is present. The shooter(s) of these dogs, along with trying to cover up what they did by taking the collars off and throwing leaves on the canines to hide them shows total disrespect of state laws. It is people like this that give law-abiding hunters a bad name. They should be prosecuted to the maximum. They even weren't on their own property !!
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Agreed !! This needs a major investigation!!
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The Father encouraged his son to shoot the Beagles. Dad should be banned for life from hunting--I feel sorry for the son tho, he did as instructed.
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I whole-heartedly agree with you
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
It is very sad, even a coyote avoids a full-grown deer, with hooves like razors, a Beagle may track them, but what chance does a 20 pound dog have against a 120 pound deer??
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
You couldn't have said it better
Frank Viniconis December 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
God Bless---you are an angel !!
Maria Giannuzzi December 10, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Where were the owners of the dogs when they were being killed? Weren't they in the area? Didn't they hear the gunshots? What kind of "hunting" was going on on this property? Why didn't the shooter simply shoot in the air to scare the dogs away? And why kill all three dogs? DEEP needs to investigate this incident thoroughly. There is something deeply disturbing about the entire incident.
Maria Giannuzzi December 10, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I am beginning to wonder. It appears that other human beings and their dogs are much more at risk than prey from malicious and/or untrained hunters.
Karen's Dog Training Blog December 19, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Is there any update to this story? Arrests? Names?
Maria Giannuzzi December 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I too would like to know what action DEEP is taking. We and the DEEP need to take such incidents seriously.
Karen's Dog Training Blog January 03, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Update: http://www.wfsb.com/story/20492437/enfield-man-accused-of-killing-dogs
Maria Giannuzzi January 04, 2013 at 10:04 AM
There are hunters who believe that shooting dogs chasing deer is legal in Connecticut (from a comment on another thread). I am again concerned about how unknowledgeable some hunters are, but I suppose some will use any excuse to justify killing. They have created a web of myths to justify their hobby. Below is the wfsb.com article: "An Enfield man accused of killing dogs during an incident in November has been released from jail. John Lake, 54, was arrested Wednesday by the Suffield Police Department and was charged with cruelty to animals, unlawful discharge of a firearm, risk of injury to a minor and illegal hunting by a minor. According to a police investigation, Lake is accused of shooting and killing three hunting beagles during some sort of incident last November. Lake was processed and released from jail on $5,000 bond and is expected to appear in court Jan. 15."
Maria Giannuzzi January 04, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Karen, thank you very much for the update.
Rebecca Strempfer January 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Maybe if we find "JIlly" we can donate her to Mr Johnson to replace one of his. Beagle sure have been in the news lately. Three were found this month in Granby, Suffield just found one right before Christmas, and this weekend Agawam found one. Unfortunately, none of them were our "Jilly" missing since 9/11/12.
Rebecca Strempfer January 07, 2013 at 06:02 PM
This story broke my heart when I read it in the JI. I cut it out and carry it in my purse so I can share the shocking story with other dog and beagle lovers who were not aware of this shooting. We are the ones with "Jilly" the missing beagle from Simsbury whose beagle took off on 9/11 and did not come back home. But people are still looking for her because she re-appears every once in a while in the Granby/ West Suffield area. We can only hope and pray.
Karen's Dog Training Blog January 07, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Rebecca I hope Jilly is found and can go back to her adopted home. Not all Beagles are suited to be hunting beagles. Jilly might do better as a inside dog and an only pet.
Karen's Dog Training Blog February 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Karen's Dog Training Blog February 06, 2013 at 03:35 PM
If you live in Connecticut, please send a polite letter to the prosecutor, State’s Attorney Gail P. Hardy, thanking her office for charging John Lake and asking her to pursue a strong and meaningful sentence upon conviction. The Honorable Gail P. Hardy, State’s Attorney Hartford Judicial District 101 Lafayette Street Hartford, CT 06106 gail.hardy@ct.gov Defendant: John B. Lake Enfield Superior Court case # H13W-CR13-0163369-S Locals are additionally encouraged to support the prosecution by attending the criminal proceedings. A hearing in the Lake case is currently scheduled for Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:00am. (Always contact the Court to confirm court dates and locations as they are subject to change.) Enfield Superior Court (get directions) Geographical Area 13 111 Phoenix Avenue Enfield, CT 06082 860-741-3743


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