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Billy, The Dead Dog
updated: Jan 22, 2013, 4:18 PM

By Dan Seibert

After reading the Indie article by Ray Ford I emailed the owner of the dog in question, Billy. I've known Billy for several years and was heartbroken when I learned that he had been shot. I would describe Billy as a rag-a muffin type of dog. Sweet natured and friendly.

The Indie story paints a picture of a 65 pound beast that is threatening a man with a gun. Here are some photos of Billy. He's more like 45 pounds. With his best pal Macaroni.

People can draw their own conclusions about threat level from this dog.

The owner said this, "He maybe barked for 5-10 seconds before being shot and I was 20 yards behind him. There were two hunters, 6 foot 230 was the size of the dude who shot him. Hunters were not from SB but from Brea in LA."

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Two hunters, returning from a day of hunting for feral pigs near Little Pine Mountain, were involved in an incident with a trail runner and his dogs that resulted in one of the dogs being shot and killed. (01/23/13)
4770 89
Billy the Dog's owner met with Independent writer Ray Ford to discuss details of the day his dog was killed. (01/25/13)
3718 64

Back to Main Story

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 366286P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:30 PM

Thanks, Dan. My heart goes out to your friend on the loss of his beloved dog.

 

 COMMENT 366288 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:32 PM

Idk about the rest of you but I would never fear this dog. I am 5 11 and 200 lbs. That is sad he looks like a happy little guy. I hope the hunters never come back to sb they are not welcome here anymore.

 

 COMMENT 366290 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:35 PM

Looks really scary, Dan. Should send the Army out to control this monster.

My condolences to your friend for his loss. I think the hunters represent the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality that is so pervasive with many NRA members. Too bad Ray Ford soft pedaled the story.

 

 COMMENT 366296 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:42 PM

Very sorry for the owner. What a loss.

 

 COMMENT 366297 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:42 PM

I am so sorry for the owner and the hunters, no one wants to hurt someone's beloved pet.

I don't want to judge or blame anyone here, it was a tragic and heartbreaking situation. Hopefully in some way some good can come from it.

 

 COMMENT 366299P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:44 PM

Total bummer all the way around. Boo

 

 COMMENT 366300 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:45 PM

I've been attacked by all types of dogs, from golden retrievers to chihuahuas...Just because someone looks like Benji and wears a funny had doesn't mean it's not the owner's responsibility to control their animal. What if the dog was aggressive and came upon a toddler hiking with his family?

 

 COMMENT 366304P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:47 PM

My condolences to his family no matter what the circumstances.

 

 COMMENT 366310P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:53 PM

Are you sure the hunters were from Brea? I think they were from another planet. A smallish terrier yaps. You get barked at. Period. A dog like this does not maul or seriously injure a man out in the open (i.e. not being cornered). At worst they nip. Usually yelling at them or tossing a rock or piece of wood near them scares the bejeesus out of them. Period.
Before it sounded reasonable that the dudes were afraid of a large strange dog. Now I see a little guy. I am outraged.

 

 COMMENT 366311 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:54 PM

I now say without a doubt that this was a HUGE over reaction by the hunters and they have NO excuse what so ever.

Its also the reason that many people should not be allow to own guns... this dog could maybe, maybe cause a few stitches, yet this brainless, weak man shoots him...he could have shot in the air and scared him, he could have used his rifle to hit him but instead the weak man, falls on his butt and as weak, scared, feeble minded men do, he over reacts...

I am utterly appalled.

What was the name of the guy who shot him? I think its fair to release that info for the safety of all who hunt, hike, breathe and live.

 

 COMMENT 366315 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:57 PM

Wow, I am so disgusted and revolted by those hunters. So they are walking along a trail, a dog starts barking at them in a warning way and they SHOOT him? This country is just sick when it comes to guns. I hope they go back to LA and stay there, well away from Santa Barbara.

 

 COMMENT 366318 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 04:58 PM

300: a toddler hiking? Please. I think in that case, the barking dog is the least of everyones' worries. Child Protective Services should be called if a family makes a toddler hike!
But seriously, these what-ifs are beside the point. What if an expectant mother was giving birth on the trail? What if someone was hiking with their kitten? None of these things DID happen. A small happy pet was shot and killed by big strong hunters.

 

 COMMENT 366320 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:03 PM

the hunters could have fired a warning shot into the air- most animals stop when a shot is fired--------

 

 COMMENT 366323 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:05 PM

300, good question. The owner also sent a photo of his infant son with Billy and Macaroni. Edhat didn't post it.

 

 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:06 PM

If the dog had been on a leash it would be alive now.

 

 COMMENT 366329 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:19 PM

I wouldn't exactly call them "hunters".

 

 COMMENT 366332 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:23 PM

Please don't judge all who hunt because of these jerks. Having now seen the little guys picture, I would say other options were available. Total over reaction even if lawfully justified. Nobody rugged enough to hunt the back country should have felt threaten by that dog.

 

 COMMENT 366334 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:25 PM

Wow that looks like a scary dog, sorry for the lose

 

 COMMENT 366336 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:25 PM

you're right EDDIEKD a small happy pet should not have been shot. but this was a 45 pound dog that was not wearing any of the outfits in these pictures and was not under control of his master.

 

 COMMENT 366342P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:38 PM

guns

 

 COMMENT 366345P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:41 PM

Being a dog owner and hunter, control the dog, don't blame the hunter. Tragic ending for both parties, but there's not much else to say.

 

 COMMENT 366353 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 05:55 PM

After reading the Indy story and seeing these pics, I'd like to hear more about this story. All the edhat comments I've seen are emotional reactions and seem to pick a side (like there's a right answer in this one).

Maybe the hunters the the owner could be interviewed to present more information on what happened.

Noozhawk to the rescue...

 

 COMMENT 366358P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:12 PM

Here is a link i found to Billys 2010 Dog of the Week story.
RIP Billy. http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=65531

 

 COMMENT 366360 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:15 PM

Good grief. I'm a woman, 5'6", 140 lbs and there *no way* I'd be afraid of this dog.

I am so sorry Billy had to die because two hunters had no clue how to assess the situation, and respond accordingly.

However, I have a lot of experience with dogs, and acknowledge that not everyone does. I'm sure the hunters felt they were doing what they had to do to protect themselves.

RIP, Billy.

 

 COMMENT 366367 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:20 PM

When a domestic dog comes down the path it is reasonable to assume that there may be people as well. This "hunter" had no business discharging his gun on a trail for this "threat". An unloaded rifle but is the most defense he needed against that dog. Very sad.

 

 REDTOP agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:20 PM

So sorry. Should not have happened. Violence has to be a very last resort!

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:25 PM

I feel sorry for the owner..I don't believe the hunters I pictured a Pitt Bull...It's very sad for the owner gun or not I woulda sluged the hunter but I'm crazy. I love critters more than people.

 

 COMMENT 366370 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:25 PM

@353...the right side is obvious. Control your dog per the law and this never would have happened.

 

 COMMENT 366371P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:25 PM

I, a small woman, agree that having a gun at hand was the problem. I've encountered dogs and coyotes while hiking. One knows or learns how to "protect" oneself without killing.

 

 COMMENT 366378 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:44 PM

Pretty much any dog can bite a person and cause a moderate wound. Did any of you hear about the woman who was bitten by her daughter's dog (causing a small cut), contracted a bacterial infection from the dog, and then lost both legs and all of her fingers due to the infection stemming from the minor bite? Just saying. Some people don't appreciate being accosted by uncontrolled animals, big or small, when there are potential threats from all sizes.

 

 COMMENT 366384 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 06:59 PM

This I heartbreaking. I think we need the name of the shooter. This was horrible and irresponsible. He could have missed and shot a person, but he certainly overreacted. A barking dog doesn't equal a reason to discharge a firearm into said dog. Poor thing. And poor owner.

 

 COMMENT 366385 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:01 PM

I feel sorry for the owner and I'm sure he now wishes that he had this dog on a leash and I also I feel sorry for the hunters because I'm sure they did what they thought was the right thing for the situation. As someone said above, had the dog been on a leash the owner would be taking more snaps of his beloved pet. When I was very young my father had to kill a neighbors cat and send in "parts" in order to determine if the cat had rabies - it was one of the most horrible things I've ever witnessed. God speed little Billy and I hope you get to chew, bark, jump and run wherever you are because Santa Barbara is a terrible place for dogs.

 

 COMMENT 366387 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:04 PM

After seeing Billy's 2010 Dog of the Week article, I am even more saddened.

"Nobody rugged enough to hunt the back country should have felt threaten by that dog."

Yes. It's difficult for me to believe they did. Not that I think they were lying; I think they truly felt threatened, but shouldn't have been. Billy lost his life as a result.

378, that's a very sad story. However, what do you propose? That no one have dogs? The infections were not the fault of the dogs. Personally, I would advocate for more education of people with dog behavior (especially children, who are prone to approach dogs they don't know -- which should be taught by their parents; however their parents usually don't know themselves), as well as education for dog owners.

I'm a volunteer with one of our local dog rescue groups, and there's no question in my mind there needs to be education on both ends.

 

 COMMENT 366393 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:25 PM

The hunters, while hiking out, should have packed away and unloaded their arms. To be hiking down the Santa Cruz trail carrying loaded guns is in itself a statement of absolute stupidity.

 

 COMMENT 366395P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:27 PM

I'm so furious and heartbroken for the owner of this dog. I hope these hunters get what is coming to them.

 

 COMMENT 366397P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:33 PM

I would be out of my mind. I cannot imagine how I would handle the situation. I am very very sorry for the loss of such a beautiful little friend, the loss of which will obviously leave a HUGE hole. I am just really really sorry -

 

 COMMENT 366406 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 07:58 PM

Thank you, Dan, for finding, posting the photos. Unbelievable that people should be carrying loaded guns on a hiking trail, no matter what they had been doing earlier. How very, very sad for the owner of this sweet-sounding dog. Sympathies from a fellow rescue-dog owner! And Shorebird, had Billy been on a leash he might still be, probably would be alive (a dog on a leash can sound and seem also aggressive) and had the hiking hunter not been carrying a loaded gun, Billy surely would still be alive.

 

 COMMENT 366413P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 08:11 PM

I think it would be helpful to have input from Forest Service staff. Those of us who hike with dogs shouldn't have to worry about their safety, and hikers shouldn't have to worry about others on trails with loaded rifles.

 

 COMMENT 366414 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 08:17 PM

Leash this leash that .... one of the many reasons I moved away from Santa Barbara.

I now live over in the Valley where I can and do take my dogs to the river bed AND LET THEM OFF THEIR LEASHES!

If that frightens you - then go hunt,hike or bike ride at Disneyland where all is safe and good in the world, I see no more threat from a pound puppy than I do in a coyote or a skunk.

 

 COMMENT 366418 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 08:26 PM

Just a reminder, both the hunters *and* Billy's owner were distraught over this incident, and reported it together, without confrontation.

Obviously the hunters felt badly about it. That Billy's owner did is more than obvious.

Hindsight is, well, hindsight. I'm sure the hunters wish this hadn't happened. I am a little uncomfortable that the hunters were coming down the trail with loaded weapons, as a hiker myself.

We truly need more education on how to read dogs' behavior.

 

 COMMENT 366452P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 09:54 PM

Very sorry - a bad situation for all, but dogs need to be leashed.

 

 COMMENT 366456 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 10:11 PM

I missed the part where the rifle was loaded, man... way too many assumptions flying around here in order to suit an agenda, even when its forcing a square peg through a round hole.

 

 COMMENT 366461P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-22 11:55 PM

Another thing. Wild pigs that they were allegedly hunting are VERY aggressive. How could they not have the courage to figure out how to deal with a barking dog when they were hunting an aggressive animal with tusks? Chances are they might have been wearing protective clothing, maybe even had bear spray or other items for protection. I am starting to think their story does not add up.

 

 COMMENT 366462P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:00 AM

Whatever happened to the good old days when a jerk who did not want a dog to approach him simply kicked if?
Of course, I am being facetious, and darkly so. But really, unless it is giant attack dog, who SHOOTS a dog in 2013? The police in a drug raid, but that is about it.

 

 COMMENT 366463P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:03 AM

Dan39, you are my hero. Your compassion and insight on all your comments really moved me. Thanks.

 

 COMMENT 366466P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 01:36 AM

Doesn't it make you wonder what else these "hunters" have been shooting? Since when did companion animals become targets?

There can be no argument made which supports the killing of Billy. Pig hunters coming down a trail with no dead pig meat in hand? They were trigger happy to shoot something, and poor defenseless dog was in their line of sight.

I don't believe for one milli-second that these two guys will ever feel bad about what they did. And they did it together---make no mistake. The one guy could have stopped his pal, if he wanted to.

And if the gun wasn't already loaded, even worse. That means this cretin made a conscious decision, took his time, and decided to kill someone's pet. Did he call out to the owner? Cowardly and disgusting.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 06:50 AM

The scariest part of this sad situation is having loaded guns on a hiking/riding trail. I doubt the guy loaded his rifle after the dog barked, it was more likely ready to go. RIP Billy

 

 COMMENT 366483P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 07:19 AM

Mighty men with guns scared of a barking dog? It's the hunters who need to be leashed. Or lashed.

 

 COMMENT 366519 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 09:04 AM

The hunt was over! What's up with the loaded weapon at the ready on the trail. Shoot first, think later. Go Guns!

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 09:51 AM

466P...hit the nail on the head....absolutely agree with you 100%

I doubt if this horrible event will ever really be investigated, but I can hope. These two numbskulls need to have their hunting licenses torn up and never re-issued. Pitiful behavior.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 09:54 AM

Forgot to say...Dan, Billy's owner, macaroni....my sincerest condolences to all of you...godspeed sweet Billy.

 

 COMMENT 366551P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:23 AM

290 wrote:

"I think the hunters represent the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality that is so pervasive with many NRA members."

Where in the article did it mention they were NRA members?

Somewhere along the trail I lost my political correctness. If you happen to run across it, please feel free to keep it...

 

 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:23 AM

I am not a hunter, but have no issue with responsible hunting. I have had dogs and owned guns most of my life and over the years have had a number of encounters with aggressive charging dogs. I cannot imagine handling the situation as described in that manner. It would not be my initial reaction to shot the dog, nor would the others of my group when it was discussed. Many better ways of handling it. Many hunt pigs with dogs and that can get pretty chaotic, so you should be able to shoot a pig without shooting either your or someone else's dog. I am curious if they were actively tracking a pig or just walking around loaded. Most of the pigs are are taken on private land as they are few and far between in the public areas( but it is free) and unless there is fresh evidence it doesn't make good sense. More likely to shoot yourself or someone else if you stumble or fall down. I am also assuming they has their tags, but that was not mentioned. Really sad for Billy and his person.

 

 COMMENT 366554P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:29 AM

So sad.

 

 LUCKY 777 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 11:14 AM

I have been out riding on that trail many times on my mule and it always frightens me to find men with shotguns coming around a corner. I ask them what they are looking to kill: "Whatever." Yikes! I'm dressed all in dark clothes on a big mule, so one would HOPE I am not mistaken for Bambi, but as for taking my Irish Wolfhounds out there, NEVER! I would HAVE to keep them on leash for fear one of the gun toters might is take them for a trophy coyote. And on the other side, many people come up the trail just as this man did, dogs way ahead out of sight, and the dogs begin to react to the mule without a human controlling them. I have to wait, and then politely ask that the dogs be leashed and pulled off the trail giving the equine right of way. In my experience many of the people who think it is appropriate to hike with dogs do NOT have the ability to control them with voice commands, and if they do not then they DO need to keep them on leash.

 

 RAINE5360 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 03:41 PM

I am neither a hunter nor a dog owner and I think this is DISGUSTING. Who kills someone's pet????? WHO DOES THAT?

 

 KATYDID agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 04:38 PM

This makes me so sad. I, too, hope these jerks stay far away from Santa Barbara, but that does nothing to ease the pain of Billy's owner. My heart goes out to him and his family. I hope there's a special place in hell for the "hunters" who would do something like this.

 

 COMMENT 366744P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 06:43 PM

Please refrain from demonizing the NRA, or their members, who unless I missed something from the article, had absolutely nothing to do with the sad events described herein.

In fact, the NRA sponsors and conducts all manner of instructional programs designed to foster the safe, responsible handling of firearms. People who judge others without doing their homework, should refrain from comment.

 

 SPARKEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 08:45 PM

Absolutely horrid and disgusting. I can only imagine what Billy's owners are dealing with emotionally.

I wonder if there is any way to punish these so called hunters.

I just hope that Karma does her thing and gets these guys back, double what they have done.

The poor pup must have smelled something was wrong with these guys and was alerting his owners as a good companion does.

 

 COMMENT 367059P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:56 PM

Rather than react in the knee-jerk fashion we've had the media trying to program into us, and calling for bans and confiscation of guns, instead, we should demand stiffer criminal laws and penalties against those who choose to behave in sociopathic ways.

The gun, knife, or baseball bat is NOT the evil thing. The action of wrongly taking another life, THAT is what needs to be banned and removed from society, no matter the means used.

 

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