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Man faces felonies in deaths of 2 dogs

May 10, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Williamsport man was charged Thursday with two felony counts of animal cruelty in connection with the shooting deaths of two dogs.

A German Shepherd named Harley was shot several times Thursday night with a high-powered rifle after the dog wandered onto property owned by Jeffrey Hurd, 54, Washington County District Court documents show.

James Rudolph, the dog's owner, was walking Harley when he let the dog off the leash to play with another dog.

Harley ran after a rabbit and on to Hurd's property. After a few minutes, Rudolph heard gunshots from the direction of Hurd's property, a Maryland State Police trooper alleged in charging documents.

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Rudolph's family was outside and heard one gunshot, then the dog yelping, then another shot and more yelping, then a third shot followed by silence, said Renee Rudolph, James Rudolph's wife.

Her 15-year-old son thought his father had been shot, because James Rudolph was chasing after Harley when the family heard gunshots, Renee Rudolph said.

When police arrived Thursday night, the body of the German Shepherd was lying in Rudolph's backyard.

Renee Rudolph described Harley as, "a goofy little dog that liked to run and play and be silly."

Hurd, of 11845 Camden Road, was charged with animal cruelty and malicious destruction of property in connection with the dog's death.

During a telephone interview Friday, Hurd said his understanding of the law was that a person could shoot a dog that was chasing a turkey, farm animal or deer on their property. The dog was chasing a turkey, Hurd said.

His neighbors should pen up their animals, said Hurd, who referred to the dog as an "attack German Shepherd."

Hurd also was charged in connection with the July 2007 death of a Labrador retriever that was on his property, troopers said.

The black Labrador retriever killed in July 2007 belonged to Arthur Pereschuk, Renee Rudolph's father.

During an interview with police Thursday, Hurd said he has shot and killed other dogs that have wandered on to his property in the past, court documents show.

Renee Rudolph and her father have filed requests for peace orders against Hurd. Rudolph said Friday that the peace order requests were filed after she and her father felt threatened by something Hurd said Thursday night.

According to court documents, when Renee Rudolph and her father went to Hurd's home after they heard gunshots, Hurd told them, "I'll shoot you and I'll say I was shooting at a turkey," according to allegations in court documents.




What happened

WHAT: Harley, a German Shepherd, was shot to death after his owner let him run to play with another dog Thursday night.

CONSEQUENCES: A neighbor, Jeffrey Hurd, has been charged in connection with the death of Harley and a 2007 shooting death of a dog. He says he was protecting farm animals.

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