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Wednesday, Apr 19, 2000
Alleged: James MacDow
A Windsor Junction man who called the Mounties after killing his neighbor's dog with a 12-gauge shotgun was unapologetic after the shooting, says the pet's owner.
James MacDow telephoned animal control just after 5pm Wednesday to complain about Max, a German shepherd-beagle mix that was acting menacingly outside his home. Eleven minutes later, MacDow contacted Lower Sackville RCMP to say he's shot Max.
"His excuse for shooting the dog was he 'just lost it,'" said Max's owner, Patricia Balcom, who arrived home a few minutes later. "The guy showed no remorse."
Balcom got the dog as a puppy seven years ago. Her daughter, Rachel, 9, grew up with Max.
"This has devastated our family," she said, adding the dog was usually friendly and liked to play with children.
Max had been tied behind his 179 Windsow Junction Crossroad home Wednesday, but managed to slip out of his harness and headed over to the neighbor's.
Six years ago, Max crossed over to MacDow's property and bit him on the ankle.
"But he just pricked the skin," said Balcom. "That was it."
Before the shooting, MacDow encountered the 20-kilogram dog on his front lawn, said RCMP Cpl. Keith Brumwell.
"The dog was showing its teeth, according to him," said Brumwell. "He decided he was going to take action into his own hands and shoot the dog."
MacDow could have waited inside for animal control officers who have special nooses, nets, pepper spray and stun guns they can use to capture wayward dogs, Brumwell said.
"Certainly if a dog is running towards you in the woods or something and your life is in danger, that's a different matter," said Brumwell. "But we can't advocate people shooting dogs that are on their property."
MacDow, in his mid-30s, could not be reached for comment.
Both Mounties and the society are investigating the case to determine if it involved cruelty to an animal.
Max's body will be sent to the Truro Agricultural College on Tuesday for an autopsy.
The dog-bite incident wasn't the first time Balcom and MacDow clashed. She applied for a peace bond against him at Bedford provincial court in August 1994, after they argued over garbage that had blown into MacDow's yard.
A judge turned down Balcom's application in May 1995.
"We haven't spoken to them in five years," she said.
Balcom said her family is considering moving.
- Halifax NS Daily News - April 21, 2000
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