A pet dog died and another was sent to Juneau for treatment after they were hit by arrows early this week in the same Mount Ripinsky hillside neighborhood where three dogs disappeared last fall.
Maple, a 1-year-old black lab and rat terrier mix, came yelping back to her West Mathias Avenue home at about 10 a.m. Tuesday, about 20 minutes after she and Foxy, a 9-year-old boxer-dachshund mix, were let out together.
An arrow was sticking through about four inches of Maple’s scalp. “She came up just screaming onto the porch,” said owner Mike Kinison.
Foxy, owned by Kinison’s girlfriend Shannon Thompson, died after returning home at about noon Wednesday, pierced through the gut by an arrow. “She spent the night out in the woods.”
When Maple returned Tuesday, Kinison said he didn’t expect to see Foxy again. He suspects whoever shot Maple also killed Foxy and three other dogs that went missing from North Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue last fall, all within a few blocks of West Mathias.
“It’s right in this area, where all the other dogs are missing from,” he said. “I’m sure that’s where the other (dogs) have gone.” Some residents have speculated that coyotes or other wild animals preyed on the missing pets, but not Kinison. “I never once thought it was animals. It’s a people thing.”
Maple was hit by a blunt-tipped, yellow target arrow manufactured by Easton. The dog was treated in Juneau Tuesday, with an estimated veterinarian’s bill of $650. There was no available description of the arrow that killed Foxy Wednesday, as the tail end of its shaft was broken off near the entry wound on the dog’s back, but the arrow tip extruding from Foxy’s belly was also blunt, Kinison said.
Kinison said he was concerned when Foxy returned home several days ago with a rabbit pelt. “I thought, ‘Oh great, she’s gotten into somebody’s stuff.’ I was hoping somebody would just throw a rock or something” to shoo away the dog.
“Foxy would have gotten into a person’s stuff and gotten shot. Maple was probably barking at the person who did it,” Kinison said. He said he tries to not let the dogs out together, as they tend to stay close when alone, and are never gone more than 20 minutes.
Kinison said he walked the area around Mathias Tuesday. He and Thompson moved into the downtown neighborhood in August.
Borough law requires dogs be leashed or under voice command in the townsite. Kinison said he’d be setting up a dog run at the Mathias Road property.
Officials with Haines Animal Rescue Kennel were visiting homes in the vicinity of Fourth Avenue this week, notifying residents and pet owners about the apparent attack, which is under investigation by Haines Borough police.
“It’s a tough thing, to have a dog maliciously attacked like this,” HARK executive director Steve Vick said this week. “Many dog owners can feel it.”
HARK officials will walk the back trails around the neighborhood, looking for clues, as they did last fall when the three other dogs disappeared. He said there’s no tangible evidence linking the disappearances to this week’s shooting.
“The most important thing we’re telling people is to make sure their dogs are secure and on a leash at all times. It protects their safety and well-being. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Police chief Gary Lowe on Tuesday said the department had no suspects in the attack on the dogs. The proximity of the homes where dogs went missing was the only link between Tuesday’s incident and the disappearance of dogs last fall, he said.
Lowe said police were planning to speak with residents in the neighborhood as part of their investigation.
A person shooting someone else’s animal could be charged with cruelty to animals or criminal misconduct for destroying other people’s property, Lowe said.