Hudsonville woman accuses neighbor of shooting dog twice in head

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HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — A family in Ottawa County is mourning the loss of a beloved pet after they say he was shot twice in the head by a neighbor after he wandered into their yard Saturday morning. The owner says when she went to get the dog she heard two gunshots then found him dead at the edge of the property.

Linda Holmes says she's devastated by the loss of her German Shepard, Sawyer. Holmes tells Fox 17 her family shares a driveway with their neighbor and this isn't the first time her dog has wandered into his hard, but just wishes it didn't go as far as it did. Now, she's getting the police involved.

Saturday afternoon was a regular day for Holmes. She decided to let one of her family dogs outside for a few minutes.

"He was a sweetheart and a gentle dog," said Holmes. "He liked to bark, but he liked to bark at anything and everything."

A few minutes after Holmes let Sawyer, her six year old German Shepard, outside, she heard him barking at her neighbor's home.

"I heard him barking and I kept thinking to myself I better hurry up and get over there," said Holmes. "I was on my way and I heard the gunfire and the barking stopped. Within a few seconds I heard another gun shot."

In that moment, Linda say she knew Sawyer was dead.

"My heart sank because the barking stopped," said Holmes. "I knew he shot him. Then I heard another gun shot. Why did he have to do it twice?"

Holmes believes her neighbor shot her dog twice in the head as it was on it's way back to her home after she called for him. Sawyer was found at the edge of her neighbor's property.

"I was just really angry, hurt and distraught," said Holmes. "I couldn't believe my eyes and what I had seen."

Fox 17's attempts to speak with the neighbor were unsuccessful.

A police report has been filed with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, but if the neighbor believes the dog was a threat on his property, he could legally shoot him. Fox 17 is waiting on information from the sheriff's department to hear the neighbor's side of the story.

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27 comments

  • Julie

    There is a special place in H*LL for the person who shot him. How can you sleep at night? Could you have handled this some other way? Maybe spoke to the neighbor, or called Police or Animal Control?

    • Truth-fairy

      Anyone who does heinous and heartless things like this is just a white trash trigger happy gun toting pumpkin head who should be looked into because these type monsters always start out with killing animals then progress onto hurting/killing people.

  • Ann

    Someone that doesn’t go through the proper channels, knows that this is a family dog and shoots it twice in the head (execution style) would be considered a threat if he comes on your property near your children. If he can do that to a dog…what will he do to people. Buy yourself a gun and if the rules work for him in that manner than they should work for you as well! How sad, dogs are going to get loose sometimes, I own two dogs and have a fenced in yard…sometimes the kids don’t close the gate all the way. Things happen, kids make mistakes and occasionally our dog will roam into the neighbors and vice a versa.

  • No PC For Me

    The law says you may not discharge a weapon within 400 feet of another house.
    Why isn’t this bastard under arrest ?
    Publish his name, its our right to know

  • Thomas Goodson Jr.

    that’s BS how do you have the right to shoot a dog. you cant even shoot a person out in your yard with a gun. so how is it that you can shoot a unarmed dog. that is reckless discharge of a fire arms in city limits. sorry for your loss

  • John

    wow, another hillbilly shoots a dog. There is an old saying, “A coward only threatens when he is safe”. What a coward this man is. Hides behind his guns, does not have the balls to talk to his neighbors. Its only a matter of time before this Hudsonville Hillbilly shoots a person.

  • Matthew Bongers

    ‘If you don’t have a secure fence leash your dog. Simple as that. Tired of seeing people walking dogs without leashes or not tying them down and letting them wander. She is the definition of a bad pet owner. I watched a young german shepard get mauled by another dog in my front lawn because of this crap, I have also watched my dog be mauled because the neighbor never tied down or put a fence up. I feel bad for the guy that had to make the decision to shoot the dog due to irresponsibility of the pet owner. She admitted she knew it was a problem and continued to let it happen. It’s funny how all pets are good pets in their owners eyes and they never see that their animal may be aggressive to other people and pets.

    • Ellie

      You don’t have all the facts. I’m sorry for what happened to your puppy. That is tragic. In this case- my mom (the lady in the video) did everything she could to make this neighbor happy. He refused to let my mom build a fence around her property. He enjoyed going over to our yard and chopping down trees for firewood. So instead of building a fence- she installed an underground one. It worked up until the plow broke it. We weren’t aware the plow broke it until the morning we found our dog dead at our neighbor’s house. She said our dog had been over there before and that is true but my mom and this neighbor have been living by each mother for 11 years. Yes our dog wandered over there but that was when he was younger and she fixed the problem. She built a giant kennel for him and put in an underground fence. She did everything she could without actually building a fence. (Which the neighbor didn’t even want) that morning, my mom was headed outside right after she let her dogs out but she got sick and needed a minute. With an underground fence you would think This would be ok since it had worked in the past. She didn’t realize the snow plow had just broken it. Again I’m sorry for your loss of your sweet puppy but my dog was never aggressive and wouldn’t have hurt anyone. He happened to wander too far and this man (who knew my dog and knew my mom) decided to take lethal action.

  • keith

    shame on fox 17 for not getting all the facts first. Why does no one every take responsibility for their dog running loose? It is a crime for your dog to be running loose off your property and is always in the wrong if it is. Any reasonable personal who can articulate they felt like they were in danger would have the right to shoot a dog. And the comments about shooting a person are crazy. Is an animals life held to the same regard as a human in the laws eye? Of coarse not. Should serve as an eye opener for anyone who just opens their door and lets their dog out without a tether, fence, or monitoring it.

    • DOG-Lover

      Why don’t you shoot my dog and find out if my dogs life is as valuable as yours!
      My neighbor would have shot the wrong person’s dog that day.

      And the same for you.

  • Martha

    This was premeditated murder, he had the gun loaded and in his garage, he had been pissed off at the neighbors for years about this dog,The Holmes family went so far as to have an invisible fence installed, which they said must have gotten knocked out by a plow.. BUT he knew he was going to do it, it was just a matter of when. I’m familiar with the neighborhood where this happened, nice neat, suburbia neighborhood, not out in the rural areas… if you have a dog that’s considered an “aggressive breed”, BEWARE! Your neighbor can murder him/her & get away with it! He should be charged with discharging a firearm in close proximity to the other homes, what if someone’s kid was outside, watching! I sure would hate to live with that the rest of my life! Bottom line, it was premeditated murder, and he will get away with it. RIP Sawyer, I’m sooooo sorry for your loss Holmes family!

  • Martha

    Furthermore…. If the dog was shot in the back of the head, as he was returning to his owner after she started calling his name (as she stated in the article)… This WAS NOT a self-defense shooting… !

  • DOG-Lover

    Worthless POS! You’re lucky that wasn’t any of my babies cause I’d take revenge on you. And it wouldn’t be two gun shots to the head. DAMIEN IS WAITING FOR YOU!