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Remembering Billy The Dog
updated: Jan 24, 2013, 9:33 AM

Billy the Dog's owner met with Independent writer Ray Ford to discuss details of the day his dog was killed.

External Link
Dan Seibert responds to the Independent article regarding the dog that was recently shot and killed. [pics] (01/23/13)
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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 SBSURFERLIFE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:40 AM

So very sad. I'm sorry for your loss Ian.


 COMMENT 366921 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:46 AM

Ian, Macaroni & Trouble....I'm heartbroken for you, I hope time and many hikes to Billy's Peak will ease the hurt.

I will forever refer to our local landmark, and a favorite hiking destination for me and all of my dogs over the years, as Billy's Peak...

Godspeed sweet Billy.


 COMMENT 366927 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:52 AM

Shedding a tear for Billy, his human and dog friends. So sorry for your loss.
Too the "shoulda been leashed crowd" I 'd retort "shouldn't have been loaded!"


 COMMENT 366931 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:54 AM

Wow, so disturbing. Mistaken for a wild rabid dog? Something doesn't smell right. Seems like a swift kick of a hunter's boot could have sufficed if the dog really did threaten the guy. What a total bummer and reminder if your dog is off-leash and an incident occurs you are more often than not liable.


 COMMENT 366932P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:56 AM

Dogs off-leash on National Forest land is perfectly legal, not sure if walking on a trail with a loaded weapon is, but if it is, that's nuts. IMO


 COMMENT 366938 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:02 AM

Having just put our family dog down a few months ago, I can't even imagine how horrible that must have been for Ian to get up to that scene and see his dog laying there in a pool of blood. Such an awful story that should never have happened, and its not even close to the dog owner's fault because his pets were off leash.


 EDDIEKD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:06 AM

There is a HUGE issue here, bigger than the leash matter. Billy's owner quoted the hunter using the term "wild dog," and the author cites it without any effort to define what if anything it means!!
What in the world is a wild dog!? Sure, lots of places have feral dogs, but feral dogs, truly feral dogs, run, flee, escape or HIDE. They do not attack, maim, maul, or hunt grown men. Being feral or wild means lacking in socialization towards humans. Feral dogs are like feral cats in that they spook immediately. Whether they weigh 4 pounds or 180, feralized animals want to keep their distance or get away.
Under the worst case scenario, a PACK of feral dogs may menace someone...but this is most likely only in an urban area where resources are scarce and territory established, not open wild public land. A feisty terrier certainly might run towards people on a trial, and he could have been barking or even lunging due to the surprise of encountering people on an isolated trail. But he was a medium sized terrier at a distance, and anyone who took the time to evaluate the situation would have at least yelled, "Call your dog" and then at worst, fired a warning shot. It frightens me such uneducated people had loaded guns on a recreational trail!
Billy was not wild, and I think the hunters knew it. They were guys with a trigger finger and no education or respect for the land or life. People can laud hunting culture and so-called American traditions, or they can focus on the lack of a leash, but the bottom line here is this was a completely unnecessary act of violence.
My heart breaks for the owner and that traumatizing long, bloody walk down the trail. I'm going to take a rose down to the beach this afternoon and throw the petals towards the waves in honor of Billy. Romp on in Heaven, Little Dude.


 COMMENT 366947P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:17 AM

a gunshot in the air will send any animal or human without hear protection scurrying. based on their actions it's clear the hunters intended to shoot the dog the moment they encountered it, collar, owner, behavior be damned. my heart goes out to you Ian. had it been my dog they would have had to shoot me as well.


 COMMENT 366948 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:18 AM

This story makes me cry for Billy. I am so sorry for your senseless loss.

The hunters should be prosecuted. There were options. This use of deadly force is uncalled for and should be ilegal. This was someone's pet.

If the hunter's judgement is that poor before discharging his weapon, I don't want him around other humans or pets.
What's next? He istakes a horse back rider for a bear through the foiliage and he thinks it's coming towards him and he shoots without verifying the threat?

This dog was shot dead. This act should have consequences for the hunter who shot him.


 COMMENT 366953 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:26 AM

It's a sad story and the hunters do not come across as very sympathetic characters. As someone who has been menaced on local trails by many off leash dogs, I have little sympathy for a person who allows their pets to get out of their sight on a trail.


 COMMENT 366961 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:35 AM

I agree that not a single hunter I know would;
-Mistake a domestic dog w/ blaze orange collar for anything but that.
-Need to use more than a rifle butt to protect himself from a 40 lb dog.
-Carry a loaded rifle on a trail after hunting.
-Discharge a firearm on a trail where people are likely to be present.
They call themselves hunters, but their behaviour speaks of unethical lowlifes. So sorry this happened


 COMMENT 366963P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:41 AM

How in the world is this not a violation of some local or federal law. We need more info from Sheriff and/or Forest Service rep.


 COMMENT 366964 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:41 AM

We can thank the NRA for the excessive rights of gun owners to shoot first and ask questions later. Unfortunately it's Ian's word against the 2 hunters so the law will side with the shooters.

BTW... while I'm ferocious about leash law observance it must be noted that this particular trail is very desolate this time of year. I wonder if Billy would've been as "aggressive" with hikers than the hunters who were clearly taken with blood lust after their hunt.


 COMMENT 366966 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:49 AM

964 - Excessive rights?


 COMMENT 366969 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:55 AM

I think the hunter who killed Billy should cough up a couple grand.


 COMMENT 366974 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:07 AM

I am so sorry for the loss of Billy. This is such a sad story and I wish we knew more and could do more.


 COMMENT 366975 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:09 AM

Like so many others, I am heartbroken over this. I cannot imagine how despondent I would be if this had happened to me and one of my dogs. Ian, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

Billy seemed like a very special dog and our community is worse off without him in it.


 COMMENT 366978P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:12 AM

is there possibility for a civil lawsuit? it's caused enough grief to the community alone, i can't imagine what Ian is going through right now. some reparation is certainly justifiable when one of your best friends is murdered.


 COMMENT 366980 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:13 AM

Yes, a civil law suit is always a possibility.


 COMMENT 366982 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:19 AM

Dogs are considered property under the law and as such the max amount that one can recover is the cost of replacement...

Yes, it sucks but that's the law.

Please release the names of the hunters. They have some explaining to do to the public.


 COMMENT 366988 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:22 AM

Outrageous! I would be soo heartbroken if it had happened to my dog, with whom I go hiking. I hope something can be done to prevent this from happening again. There must be some punishment for the "hunters" -- they seem way too trigger happy and could have hurt someone.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:30 AM

Yes some comments are just BS But then Santa Barbara is a haven for serial killers that love animals, so I wouldn't count on all comments being BS.


 COMMENT 366995 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:31 AM

Control your dog.


 COMMENT 366996 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:32 AM

995- really that's the best you can do? Is any discharge of a firearm truly ok regardless of "the dog"? strange.


 COMMENT 367001 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:45 AM

Control your comments.


 COMMENT 367002 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:46 AM

953: Were you ever attacked by any of the dogs off leash on the trails? If so, you would have no doubt stated that fact. You may have even been scared momentarily. I get that. Been there, done that.

The point is, these morons didn't need to kill the dog. Period. Me personally, I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the owner and his other dogs. Laying blame on him is ridiculous and short sighted.

Who in their right mind would EVER anticipate their dog getting shot on a trail in SB? Seriously.

Ian: I don't know you, but I feel a deep sadness for what you are going through. To lose a friend in this way, I just can't imagine. My condolences to you and your family.


 COMMENT 367004 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:50 AM

A civil suit for pain and suffering would certainly get their attention. Why not cause them some grief in return for the grief they caused?

Also, why not release their names? I would think since the incident was reported to the ranger station, it's now a matter of public record, no?

For the record I'm a gun owner, and have never shot a person or pet. This is the kind of story that tarnishes legitimate, law-abiding gun ownership.


 COMMENT 367016 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:19 PM

Both parties are to blame. The dog is not to blame. Bad things happen when pet owners and gun owners make mistakes.


 COMMENT 367017 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:19 PM

How about get the hunter's email sddresses in order to forward them these comments and threads? They were from LA, no?

They should know how most of us feel about them:

-shooting a 40 lb pet dog
-carrying loaded gun on hiking trails
-having horrific judgement in the heat of the moment


 COMMENT 367026 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:32 PM

We have a 40 pound dog and he's very small and hairy a lot like what Billy looks like. He's run up to people and growled and barked at people and they just laugh and say things like "he doesn't know he's so little", or " he has really big ambitions" etc. To be carrying shotguns (wrong gun) hunting pig is very stupid These hunters are obviously un- educated on their dangerous hobby and shoot before thinking, very dangerous. I'm glad the dog met them before Ian possibly killing him thinking it was a bear.


 COMMENT 367028 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:41 PM

I am sure these sudo 'hunters' don't care what people think of them. Anyone who would shoot and kill Billy is clearly mentally ill. These are the people that should NOT own guns. I say civil suit - and hit them where it WILL hurt them, their wallets! Maybe they will have to sell their guns to pay the judgement.
Ian's pain must be horrible - the thought of him carrying poor Billy down the trail..... UGH!!
I frequent Cafe Luna and hope to meet Macaroni and Ian someday. SO sorry for your loss!


 COMMENT 367030 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:46 PM

I don't care if what either party did was legally within their rights, shooting the 45 pound dog because it barked at two 6-ft plus men is immoral, shameful, incomprehensible, cowardly, and most of all ignorant.

Sounds more to me that they really like shooting animals. These are the types of guys who probaby shoot hawks for fun.

I'm so sorry for this dog and his family, especially to Ian and Mac who had to see this.


 COMMENT 367034 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:53 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know words mean nothing at this time. RIP sweet boy.


 COMMENT 367036 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:58 PM

If I were hunting I'd definitely keep my firearm loaded. You do not know what you could run into out the the back country. If I didn't have my rifle loaded I'd definitely have a handgun holstered for a "just incase" measure.

Maybe the dog ran up to them and they panicked not knowing what it was. If they shot the dog from 100yrds away I get it; that shouldn't have happened. If you can't verify your target do t shoot it. If it had a tag and came up to you or even running at you most dogs aren't crazy to attack a person. Another dog yes, person no.

I read the article and have followed this. I feel bad for the dog owner loosing a friend. While I feel the dog should have been leashed regardless of what the "leash" rules are. Either that or leave your dogs at home. Keep them local to parks/streets where it's safer. There's a place to keep the off-leashed. It's called your front and back yards.


 COMMENT 367037 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:59 PM

7026.... While I support Ian's right to let his dogs run loose on a desolate trail, I find your disregard for the fear your dog can afflict people with by letting him run up to them aggressively incredibly disturbing. Be careful of calling others uneducated when your own actions aren't those of a very bright or caring soul.


 COMMENT 367038 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:00 PM

We've only heard one side of the story.


 COMMENT 367047 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:22 PM

The other side said,"I had to put your dog down bro".


 COMMENT 367048 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:30 PM

This story made me cry - Ian, I don't know you but I am so sorry for your loss. I'm not a hiker and I don't own any dogs but I love dogs. If you are walking your dog around Los Carneros Lake then you should put him on a leash but hiking in Oso? No way. You're not going to find your typical dog walkers in a place like that and I have never heard anything about loose dogs wandering around. It is just tragic and senseless. Ian, thank you for sharing your story. Ray Ford, every time I read a story of yours, I learn something.


 COMMENT 367053P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:41 PM

038, we've actually heard two sides. The official's report that Ray used in his first article, and this follow up report with the owner of Billy.


 COMMENT 367066 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 02:04 PM

Too many crazy hunters with trigger fingers running around. I've seen plenty in the SYV. They shoot next to homes, roads, trails, etc., many times in areas off limits to hunting, many times poaching, and many times before assessing the situation to determine if firing is safe or not. And not just with rifles. Crossbows are big too. Silent and just as deadly.


 COMMENT 367086 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 02:47 PM

@066 report these "poachers" to the police? What you described is highly illegal and gives law abiding firearm owners (like myself) a bad reputation. Less ed hat more telephone time w/ your sheriff please.


 COMMENT 367097 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 03:22 PM

Under the law dogs are considered the property of the owners. So the owner can sue the hunters for destruction of his property and be compensated for that. But cannot get anything for his pain and suffering, which most of us agree is a considerable amount. And I doubt that a mixed breed dog from a shelter is considered to be worth very much. I wish they considered them to be worth all of the food and vet care that has gone into maintaining them. That might make the hunters have to sell their guns to pay the settlement.

I am very curious to know, does someone with a gun in a National Forest have the right to shoot anything that moves except a human with no consequences? Or maybe a deer is protected due to the season requirements? If so, let's pass a law that the open season on dogs is now closed from 1/1 through 12/31 each year.


 COMMENT 367108 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 04:20 PM

@097 - there is a significant difference in a "kill for sport" vs a "kill for personal defense"

this falls into the later. Each case is determined on a case by case basis. Unfortunately in this situation, the dog owner was responsible for putting that animal in danger ( a situation the owner created for themselves )

The loss felt by the owner is probably tremendous but the blame lies solely on their hands ( based on the very little information provided ) and that was what was determined by sanctioned civil authorities.


 SACJON agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 04:33 PM

108 - "sanctioned civil authorities" did not place the blame on the owner - try re-reading what "very little information" was provided. The authorities simply did not charge the hunters with any violation of the law based on the facts at hand.

Sadly, the only one who knows what was going through the coward's head when he shot the dog was the coward himself. If he deemed a knee-high terrier to be a life threatening situation, then his lethal shot may have been justified.


 COMMENT 367113 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 04:39 PM

108 - To say that the blame lies solely on the victim is absurd. The blame lies solely on the shooter. The fact that he is was within the law makes no difference. The law is wrong and that will be eventually reflective in a new take on these types of assaults.

We as a society will not stand for morons with firearms to shoot what they please - this is 2013 not 1913. This is So. Cal not the middle of nowhere. And while you may think you're thinking is correct, its not. Not for So. Cal - maybe for AK or MT or a more rural area - but not for a populated and well travel area in So. Cal.

I will wager that this issue does not die and that there will be a policy shift as a result.

As for the hunters? They will be outed and the internet will take care of them in its own special way...


 COMMENT 367125 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 05:34 PM

I was thinking what 113 said. " not for So Cal maybe AK or MT. I have friends in MT and if some (insert expletive ) shot their dog because they got scared. He would be hurt and it wouldn't be pretty, they take matters in their own hands. In Montana your dog is your lifeline a lot of the time and especially while hunting and to boot a 40 pound dog killed. Can you imagine if this (expletive) saw a 200lb wild boar charge him. That hunter is dangerous. If you read this don't come back to SB


 COMMENT 367127 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 05:40 PM

I believe it is perfectly legal to have dogs off leash in Los Padres National Forest.


 COMMENT 367133 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 05:48 PM

Yes, dogs are allowed off-leash on Los Padres N.F. trails, it says so, right on the trailhead signs.


 COMMENT 367144 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:17 PM

I'm also curious if these "hunters" have a record of violence, assault?


 COMMENT 367157P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:47 PM

Ray Ford offers this comment within the last hour:

The two hunters are from Brea, CA and they both had valid hunting licenses. The report doesn't indicate whether or not they had pig tags with them but are required to. To obtain a hunting license in California one must take a Hunter Safety Course and present a certificate of completion when applying for the license. Current cost of a resident hunting license is $44.85 and a resident wild pig tag costs an additional $21.34. We are in the process of researching many of the issues that have been raised above and will be reporting on them soon.


 COMMENT 367159P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:56 PM

this is such a sad story. My husband won't even let me give details as we are both dog lovers and just can't imagine this happening to our dog. There is a march in Lompoc on Saturday in support of reasonable gun control. Granted these 'hunters' didn't use assault weapons, but they abused their rights as gun owners. Sorry but I think these gun wackos are just that. They are uneducated, insecure macho idiots. And what's with VAFB opening a gun store on base. Talk about hypocrisy. big signs at entrances. No guns allowed. And then they are selling guns in the store. As a tax payer, I object. And reasonable citizens should protest this.


 COMMENT 367166 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:19 PM

I have a feeling that this tragedy will be made into a movie in the future and/or Billy's owner will appear on Oprah/Letterman/Today Show. There was a movie made years ago about a dog who had rabies and a kid had to shoot the dog (or maybe his dad shot the kids dog). This story has struck a deep nerve, and anyone laughing at this situation should think twice about making light of this or any tragedy. Has any thought been given to memorial services or a gathering say at Ledbetter beach? Can we donate money to put up a sign along the trail or a bench where he was mercilessly gunned down by cowards? We lost a dog 17 year ago to a pack of coyotes. The memory of the murderous squeals, painful barking, and howling haunts my entire family to this day - we planted a small garden with a bench near the spot where sweet little Durazno met her fate. The worst part is that my husband had just taken her off the leash. That leash is still hanging next to our door as a reminder to our beloved dog.


 COMMENT 367219P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:18 PM

I have had dogs bound up to me on multiple occasions - on the beach, urban trails, etc. The only thing I have ever done is stand as motionless as possible, and the dog(s) get bored. Many of the dogs probably weighed in at 90 lbs, and sometimes stood on their hind legs to paw.

Shooting the dog is an indication of complete lack of respect for something that can be highly annoying, and a lack of self control and patience. I would bet that the shooter has also had road rage at dumb drivers. As they say, do not sweat the small stuff. It is not worth it.


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:45 PM

If anyone is interested the link for hunting wild pigs in California below:



 RAINE5360 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 12:59 PM

so sorry for the heartbreaking loss of your little guy. I hope some good can come of this horrible story. How terribly sad.


 COMMENT 367559 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:34 PM

You could say, "there oughta be a law", OR you could educate yourself, your friends, your CHILDREN so that if they choose to hunt, they do so ethically and don't grow up to be idiots like these.


 COMMENT 367686P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-26 09:59 AM

the hunters are from orange county, what a surprise.


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