Death sentence for man's poodle stirs debate in Hydro

People are questioning whether Hydro, OK, police could have found an alternative to killing a man's poodle while he was in jail for breaking the dog out of the pound.
BY ANN KELLEY Modified: October 29, 2010 at 10:20 am •  Published: October 29, 2010
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— People are questioning whether police could have found an alternative to killing a man's poodle while he was in jail for breaking the dog out of the pound.

The ruckus started about two weeks ago when 73-year-old Edwin Fry used bolt cutters to free the dog, Buddy Tough, and left on his riding lawn mower with the animal on his lap.

Police arrested Fry at gunpoint a few miles from the city kennel and took the dog, Buddy Tough.

Fry said he couldn't pay the $100 it would take to free his dog legally and didn't want the animal put down.

Hydro's police chief told a local newspaper publisher the dog was held for three days, placed in a box and killed with carbon monoxide from the exhaust pipe of a police car.

Some residents in this Caddo County town of about 1,000 would like to see justice for the dog and his owner.

"The last time we had this big of a stink in Hydro was when there was talk about putting a hog farm in," said Joyce Carney, publisher of the Country Connection News.

Backlash over case

The three-person town council is scheduled Tuesday to discuss the predicament. Fry and Buddy Tough's story caught national attention, and angry animal lovers have been calling Hydro's town hall expressing their disdain.

Earlier this week, police officer Chris Chancellor said he already had fielded eight calls from non-residents in the first hour of his shift.

"Most of them start out really angry, but once I explain the entire situation they seemed to calm down," Chancellor said. "We have a history with Mr. Fry, and it's not a good one."

Chancellor said Fry once climbed a silo with a rifle. Another time he tried to buy a bullet-resistant vest, saying he wanted to shoot cops, the officer said.

"He's a character, but you never know if it could turn into something more dangerous," Chancellor said.

The dog was taken to the pound on complaints that it was running loose, he said.

He said Fry's son was notified when he went to jail and told he could retrieve the dog. Instead, Fry spent several days behind bars, and after three days, as outlined in a city ordinance, Buddy Tough was euthanized, he said.

Fry is facing a misdemeanor charge of breaking and entering.

Chancellor said Buddy Tough was euthanized in a "gas chamber" with "carbon monoxide."

He said the town's police chief handled the matter and possibly took the dog to a veterinarian in Weatherford.

The town clerk claims she has no record or financial receipt showing the dog was taken to an animal hospital.