May 10, 2013

Man charged in dog shooting

From Staff Reports

— A Murray County man was in the process of posting his $7,000 bond Thursday evening after being charged in connection with a dog’s death the day before.

Diane Franklin, Murray County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Control director, said someone called to say a dog had possibly been struck and injured in the road on Nightwind Drive in Chatsworth. They later found the animal had been shot.

James D. Yaughn, 68, 314 Nightwind Drive, Chatsworth, was charged Wednesday by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office with aggravated cruelty to animals, discharging a firearm near a roadway and reckless conduct with a firearm, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

A press release states the dog was found shot in Yaughn’s yard. Franklin said it appeared to be a chow lab or chow shepherd mix.

Franklin said Yaughn wouldn’t tell her why he shot the animal. It’s unclear whether the dog was someone’s pet or a stray, but Franklin said the animal appeared to be well-fed, and it wasn’t attacking anyone.

People have a legal right to protect themselves, other people or their property from harm, even if it means killing a dog, Franklin said, but that didn’t apply in this case. She said he could have called 911 to have someone from her department come by if the animal was a nuisance.

“He was too close to the road to be discharging a weapon,” she said. “He was in a neighborhood.”

A phone number for Yaughn’s residence could not be found.