Texas Man Boasts About Killing Neighbor's Dogs

Published: Feb 26, 2015 14:59pm EST
By Lance Rinker, Managing Editor for Konsume Politics

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 26, 2015 @ 07:58pm EST

 

Tim Conatser is a volunteer firefighter in Hunt County with the Union Valley Fire Department, but that is not all he is. He also happens to be suspended from his duties as a volunteer firefighter for killing his neighbor’s two dogs and then boasting about it on Facebook.

According to a photo and status update posted on Conatser’s Facebook account, the image showed the two dogs shot to death with the warning, “Somebody didn’t put any truth my warning. Keep your damn dogs on your property.”

Man kills neighbor's dogs

 

Apparently, the owner of the two dogs, Pulido Rodrigo, won’t have that to worry about any longer as his dogs are dead. Conatser, for his part, won’t have to worry about the possibility of Rodrigo’s dogs on his property any further because he killed them and posted the photos on his Facebook page boasting about what he had done.

Rodrigo told Fox 4 News that Conatser never complained about Gordo, his black lab, and Spike, his yellow lab.

"I'm in shock. I don't know. I don't understand these people. Bad people, I don't know," Rodrigo said.

Chief of the Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Edward Ragsdale, said he suspended Conatser after learning about the Facebook post, but made it a point to say that he, nor the fire department, should be held responsible for Conatser’s actions when off duty.

The chief also said the small-town department has been bombarded on social media with angry messages and death threats from locals, across the country, and even around the world because of Conatser’s actions.

The fire department did release an official statement on Wednesday, separate from the chief’s personal statements on the matter:

“As previously stated, we do not condone the recent actions of one of our firefighters. We are following our policy in removing him from our department. This is now a civil/criminal matter that we have no jurisdiction over. Please forward all concerns to local law enforcement and/or the SPCA.”

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said his office is taking the initial report regarding this incident, and that Constable Terry Jones will be conducting an investigation. A spokesperson for the SPCA of Texas has confirmed they have an open case regarding the incident and are working with Jones to investigate as well.

Conatser's friend, Kevin Forester, said the volunteer firefighter shot the two dogs when he found them inside his barn, attacking one of his cows.

In Texas, a livestock owner is legally permitted to shoot and kill a dog or coyote that is attacking his or her barnyard animals. With that said, if investigators do not find the dogs posed a reasonable threat to Conatser's livestock, he could be charged with animal cruelty, according to police officials.

A screenshot of Conatser's post has been shared more than 123,000 times on Facebook and hundreds of comments expressing disgust and anger have been made. Others have defended Conatser as a responsible farmer who was protecting his cows.

The situation, from all sides, is unfortunate because everyone loses.

If Conatser’s friend is telling the truth in that the dogs were attacking one of his cows and he was simply protecting his livestock, which he is allowed to do under Texas law, then no criminal charges will actually be brought against Conatser once the investigation is complete.

However, there are serious questions surrounding the reasoning behind the killings I must bring up.

For starters, in the image you can see where the two dogs lie dead after being shot. Those are large, heavy dogs and would be quite difficult to easily move from the inside of a barn to what is the front of his property after shooting them.

Secondly, the photo that was posted shows no drag marks on the ground and no trail of blood, which you should see, had the dogs actually been moved from another location on the property to where they were pictured to have been once deceased.

According to images of Conatser’s property provided by Google, the barn on his property is fenced off from his front yard and house. If the dogs were in his barn attacking a cow, as Forester suggests, then why move them all the way to the front yard to take pictures to begin with?

The credibility of Kevin Forester also must come into question, as he was arrested in 2001 and charged with assault with bodily injury on a family member. He was ordered by the court to attend anger management counseling and spent two years on probation as a result.

Not only is Forester’s credibility, and character, in question but so is the credibility and character of Conatser himself.

Would speaking with his neighbor after killing his two dogs not been good enough?

Is killing two dogs not sending enough of a message to Conatser’s neighbor, and anyone else nearby, that he doesn’t want animals on his property that are not his own?

And finally, what does it say about you as a person when your first impulse, after having killed your neighbor’s dogs – let along any domesticated animals or pets – is to post the picture of the animals you’ve killed on your Facebook page and boast about what you’ve done with an eerie warning?

There is much that does not add up in this situation, but that’s what an investigation by the police is for and will hopefully figure out what actually happened and why in the near future.

Conatser and Forrester could not be reached for comment for this story. 


 

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Lance Rinker
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