A volunteer firefighter from a small Texas town has been forced to resign after he shot dead his neighbor’s two dogs and then bragged about it by posting a photo of their bodies on Facebook.
Tim Conatser said that he killed his neighbor’s two Labradors after warning their owner to keep them away from his livestock.
The incident has angered animal rights activists around the world and now the owner of the dead canines — a black Lab named Gordo and a yellow one called Spike — is rejecting Conatser’s claim that he ever complained about them. (Scroll down for the videos.)
1. A tearful Pulido Rodrigo said he was in shock after finding out via social media that his two dogs had been killed.
In an interview with Fox 4, the dogs’ owner Pulido Rodrigo said:
I’m in shock. I don’t know. I don’t understand these people. Bad people, I don’t know.
Rodrigo explained that he only learned about his dogs’ murder via social media.
Conatser’s actions have been widely criticized from people across the U.S. and as far as western Europe. He’s even received death threats at his Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s social media accounts.
Hunt County, Texas, Constable Terry Jones has launched a criminal investigation to establish whether Conatser’s actions actually constitute animal cruelty.
2. Conatser’s photo has won him death threats from around the world and gotten him suspended from his volunteer firefighter job.
For his part, Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department chief Edward Ragsdale has spoken about his astonishment with the torrent of messages sent to the department’s social media accounts. He said:
We’ve had I don’t know how many hits. We’ve had (them) from as far away as England, Portugal, Canada, every state in the union.
Ragsdale stressed that he can’t take responsibility for Conatser’s grisly Facebook post. He said:
This is an individual that’s a volunteer with our department. We can’t be responsible for his actions when he’s off duty.
3. Tim Conatser reportedly killed two dogs after warning their owners, his neighbors, to keep them away from his livestock then put photos of their dead bodies on Facebook.
The actions in question allegedly include Conatser writing on Facebook a somewhat confusing but nevertheless chilling message to his neighbors, next to the unsettling image. Conatser wrote:
Somebody didn’t put any truth my warning. Keep your damn dogs on your property.
Conatser, who was suspended from his position with the Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department after the story went viral, has now resigned. The department released a statement which read:
We do not condone the recent actions of one of our firefighters. We are following our policy in removing him from our department.
4. Union Valley fire chief Edward Ragsdale stressed that he can’t take responsibility for the disturbing Facebook post.
The Hunt County Constables Office and the SPCA have each launched investigations to determine whether animal cruelty charges should be filed.
Per local law, Conatser may have been within his rights to shoot the dogs. His friend Kevin Forester told CBS DFW that the story began some days earlier, after Conatser discovered that his neighbors’ dogs had attacked a calf in his barn. Forester said:
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 — you know — keep ’em at home, put ’em on a leash, build a fence, do something.
The investigations are ongoing.
5. Hunt county Facebook post about dead dogs draws ire worldwide — an NBC report.
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