A Canadian man was found guilty Thursday of shooting his neighbor’s dog to death despite pleas from his 16-year-old owner.
A Saskatchewan judge says he doesn’t believe the St. Bernard was attacking Eugene Krawchuk's horses. He says it’s far more likely Krawchuk, 59, shot the dog because it had interrupted his game of Candy Crush Saga.
Krawchuk shot 16-year-old Lianne Price's dog, Bentley, on April 11, 2013. Bentley, still only a puppy, had entered Krawchuk’s yard by climbing a snow bank that built up beside a fence leading into a horse pasture.
Krawchuk testified that he was playing Candy Crush on his computer, and initially ignored his wife when she informed him that the dog was in their pasture.
She told him a second time that the dog was in the pasture, and he testified that she told him to put the dog down.
Price pleaded with him not to shoot her dog, but he did anyway.
Judge Marty Irwin rejected Krawchuck’s testimony that the dog attacked livestock. He quoted Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” – “Good fences make good neighbors.”
"Had that advice been heeded, it's quite likely that the Price's beloved St. Bernard would not be dead and Eugene Krawchuk would not be facing ... criminal charges," Irwin said.
Krawchuk was found guilty of shooting a dog without lawful excuse and possessing an unlicensed firearm. He was found not guilty of careless use of a firearm. He was sentenced 12 months probation.
His wife Laurie Krawchuck was also found guilty of possessing a firearm without a license, but she was given a conditional discharge.
The Price family was happy with the ruling.
“I’m just fed up with bullies,” said Lianne's father Michael Price told CTV News. “That’s all they are, they’re bullies.”
“I don’t think they know how much they’ve destroyed our family,” he said. “There’s been a lot of tears.”