Police in Texas have launch an investigation after learning about a volunteer firefighter’s Facebook post, bragging about killing neighbor’s dogs, including a photo of the lifeless animals.
The social media account, belonging to a man by the name of Tim Conatser, shows one yellow and one black labrador on the icy ground, dead, with blood puddling around their heads. The Facebook account appears to be deactivated, but someone was able to get a screenshot of the post. ‘Somebody didn’t put any truth my warning.” the caption reads. “Keep your damn dogs on your property.”
The most recent update from the Herald Banner responded:
“Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said that his office is taking the initial report regarding this incident, and that Constable Terry Jones will be conducting an investigation. A spokesperson for the SPCA of Texas has confirmed they have an open case regarding the incident and are working with Jones to investigate the incident.”
The dogs, Gordo, the black lab, and Spike, the yellow lab belonged to Paulido Rodrigo, who said that he had not received any complaints about them.
“I’m in shock! I don’t know, he told reporters, “I don’t understand these people. Bad people, I don’t know,” said Rodrigo.
According to the constable, the dogs were found dead in the southwest portion of Hunt County, but he did not specify where exactly because detectives were still interviewing potential witnesses.
The Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s chief Edward Ragsdale said he suspended Conatser after learning about the Facebook post. However, the small department was still inundated with angry messages on their Facebook page from around the world.
“This is an individual that’s a volunteer with our department,” Ragsdale said. “We can’t be responsible for his actions when he’s off duty … We’ve had I don’t know how many hits,” he said. “We’ve had (them) from as far away as England, Portugal, Canada, every state in the union.” said the fire chief.
There apparently appears to be another part of the story. According to a family friend, Kevin Forester reported to CBS DFW that Conatser had found the dogs attacking his calf inside his barn a few of days prior and recognized them as belonging to his neighbor.
“So he went over to his neighbor’s and told him that his dogs was getting in his barn and attacking his animals, to please ya know keep ‘em at home, put ‘em on a leash, build a fence, do something,” said Forester.
According to Forrester, Conatser told him the neighbor didn’t care. Efforts for the news network to reach neighbors in the area for comment were unsuccessful.
Upon researching the laws in Texas, there is a Texas state statute that stipulates that a dog or coyote attacking livestock, or domestic animals, may be killed by someone who witnesses it or the animals’ owner. It also read that the owner can’t be held liable for damages by the dog’s owner. Additionally, the statute also reads that the owner who allows their dog to ‘run at large’, endangering livestock, is ‘punishable by a fine of not more than $100’, as well as being ‘liable for all costs incurred in the capture and care of the dog or coyote and all damage done by the dog or coyote’.
Reports show there was no immediate response from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and so far there has been no media contact with Mr. Conatser for comment.