Pastor slashes puppy's throat; neighbors outraged


by KING 5 News

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 27 at 11:04 AM

Do you think Rea was justified in killing the dog?

FINLEY, Wash. – A church pastor says he had no choice but to slash the throat of a puppy that was attacking his chickens, but neighbors are outraged because this is the second time this year he has been responsible for the death one of their dogs.

The Tri-City Herald reports David Rea killed one of his neighbor's two Siberian huskies when he found the dog killing livestock in his chicken pen.

Christy Rose admits her dogs were on Rea's property, but she thinks Rea could have handled the situation differently. She says her dog, named Jack, had his throat slashed three times.

"He was a baby," Rose told the Herald about her six-month-old dog. "There are other ways to deal with it besides death."

Rea tells the Herald he is "very sorry," but had no choice.

"Until you're in there fighting a dog, you don't know what to do," Rea told the Herald. "You can't even imagine. It's a horribly bad deal."

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says it is determining whether the way Jack was killed falls within the law.

On New Year's Eve, Rea, who is a pastor at Tri-Cities Baptist Church in Pasco, shot a neighbor's black Labrador that cut across the corner of his property. The dog, Charo, was walking off-leash about 100 feet from her owner when she was shot. Rea told the Herald that he had been having problems with stray dogs on his property and didn't realize Charo was a neighbor's dog.

Charo's injuries were so severe, she had to be put down.

Charo's owner, JoAnn Fortman, said she has been trying to forgive Rea, but is now stunned to learn he has killed another dog.

"He claims to be a man of God," she said, "but I don't understand that. Men of God don't do cruel things like that."

Rea says he was just protecting his animals.

"I was trying to save my chickens. They're animals too," Rea told the Herald. "If it was me, I would be absolutely ashamed if my dog went onto somebody's property and killed livestock."

Rose says her children are devastated and that her daughter is now afraid to go to the bus stop, which is in front of Rea's home.

Rea says there have been problems with dogs running loose in the area and people being attacked.

He says he also looked up the American Kennel Club standard for a Siberian husky and it shows that while the dogs are normally affectionate and docile with people, "they have a strong hunting drive and will kill cats, rabbits, chickens, squirrels and other birds and small animals."

KING 5 News went to the AKC website and could not find that specific reference, but the site did say about Siberian Huskies that "Predatory instincts are strong, so Siberians should be supervised around small animals in and around the home."