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Photo prompts outrage, death threats from animal lovers

After a photo of a fatally wounded pit bull terrier went viral, the Cherokee County sheriff's office is investigating the incident and the subsequent death threats from animal lovers, Undersheriff Jason Chennault said.
by LeighAnne Manwarren Modified: February 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm •  Published: February 24, 2013
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That's when he shot the dog with his bow and arrow. The dog ran about 30 yards away and collapsed, he told Chennault.

Chennault said Green's father said they dug a hole and burned the dog.

Maestas said Green's story doesn't add up with the placement of the arrow in the dog's gut.

“He didn't do it out of defense. It seems more like he wanted to brag about what he had done,” Maestas said. “It was pretty disturbing.”

Attack on breed?

Erik White, a volunteer with Pit Bull Rescue Oklahoma, said the incident is another instance of the breed being attacked.

“They are no more vicious than any other dog,” White said. “The whole locking jaw and propensity for violence is a myth. The vast majority of rescue pit bulls can go back to being adoptable.”

The aggressive reaction from the public over the incident is wrong, too, and helps perpetuate the stereotype of pit bull owners, White said.

“The people that are threatening this kid are acting completely on their own, and it's ridiculous,” he said. “You shouldn't put an animal's well-being over a person's. That being said, this kid did something horrible.”

Jim Wilcoxen, the family's lawyer, said Green is regretful of his decision to post the photo on Facebook and called it a youthful lapse of judgment. Wilcoxen said Green hasn't violated the law.

“He's a good kid. He has no criminal record. He is pretty much an A student, and he is a really good basketball player and athlete, and he's well-liked,” Wilcoxen said. “It's real unfortunate.”

Thorp said the district attorney's office has asked the sheriff to conduct a follow-up investigation after reviewing the initial report Wednesday.

If authorities decide Green deliberately killed the dog when no threat was present, he could be charged with animal cruelty, a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, Chennault said.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by LeighAnne Manwarren
Breaking News Reporter
LeighAnne Manwarren is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and weather for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. An Oklahoma City native, Manwarren is a University of Oklahoma journalism alum and has interned for The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette,...
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