Mysterious Pet Death - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/06/08-Angelina County

Mysterious Pet Death

by Tashun Chism

As Crystal Goleman looks through pictures of her favorite dog, Tyler, she remembers the moment she found out he was dead.

"I didn't handle it well at all because he was my child of 8 years. So it was very hard, and it still it very hard," she said.

Tyler's body was found in a neighbor's yard with a bullet hole in it. Goleman says she's seen the neighbor shoot dogs before and believes he also shot Tyler. She says Tyler went to the neighbor's house all the time because they'd feed him scraps.

"In the state of Texas, no matter what, you're not allowed to shoot a dog just because it comes on your property and I want him to understand that," Goleman told us.

Unless a dog is aggressive toward you or your livestock, killing it is considered animal cruelty. Golemans tells us the 7 pound pomeranian was hardly capable of harming anyone or damaging their property.

"He had medical problems, but he was not aggressive at all. If anything he would lick you to death," Goleman told us.

There are legal alternatives to remove unwanted dogs from your property.

"If they're strays angelina county does offer dog traps for free. You can trap the stray do and take it to the city of lufkin free of charge," Angelina County Animal Control Officer Melanie Wade said.

Animal Control officers receive 10 or more calls a day about dogs going into people's trash or destroying property.

"On the owned dogs we have no leash law. You can look into it as a civil suit for the owners for reimbusment of your property," Wade added.

The case is currently being investigated by the Angelina County's Sheriff's Department. Goleman's neighbor denies shooting Tyler, and has even agreed to take a polygraph test for authorities. As for Goleman, she's built a memorial for Tyler and is waiting on the test results.

Killing a stray or an unwanted pet on your property is a felony. Punishment could include 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a thousand dollar fine.

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