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Owner doesn't blame neighbor who fatally shot her dogs

The owner of two dogs that were shot Thursday morning in Oklahoma City said she suspects the dogs escaped the backyard after someone tried to break in.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: February 19, 2011

The first thing Roseanna Saenz noticed when she pulled into her driveway Thursday morning was the wide-open backyard gate.

Her dogs were gone.

She said she searched the streets until she chased down a neighbor and heard what happened. Her two bull terriers were shot and killed as they attacked a neighbor's dog.

Saenz said she doesn't blame the neighbor who killed her pets.

“If I were there, I would have got the gun myself,” she said, wiping away tears.

The woman who fired the gun, Charlotte Maughan, was walking her family dog, Mollie, across the street when two dogs attacked.

Neighbors arrived and tried to help pull the dogs apart, Maughan said. They used rocks, their feet, a broom and a metal rod to try to end the fight. Maughan said nothing could deter the attacking dogs.

Maughan eventually went inside her home, retrieved her husband's gun and fired three shots, killing both of Saenz's dogs.

Saenz and her husband, Manuel Torres, were cited for failing to confine their dogs and not having current rabies vaccinations for the animals. Maughan was not cited.

Saenz said she is sorry for what happened to Maughan's dog, and she hopes Mollie recovers.

“We'll help them however we can,” she said.

Mollie underwent surgery Thursday. She is improving, though the long-term outlook is still uncertain, according to a spokesman for Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan, who is Maughan's son and Mollie's owner.

Saenz said her dogs spend most of their time inside or in the backyard. They have only escaped one other time — last year when a snowstorm knocked down part of the fence.

The metal fence around Saenz's backyard is taller than she is, and the door is secured with a heavy latch. But Thursday morning, the gate was broken, and a chunk of the latch was lying on the ground, she said. Saenz said she suspects someone tried to break in and encountered her dogs.

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