Dog Shot and Killed on Santa Cruz Trail

Hunter Fears the Dog is About to Attack Him

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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On Tuesday, January 15 at about 11 a.m., two hunters returning from a day of hunting for feral pigs near Little Pine Mountain were involved in an incident with a trail runner and his dogs that resulted in one of the dogs being shot and killed. According to the Santa Barbara District Ranger Pancho Smith, pig hunting is allowed all year.

Though hunting or discharge of a firearm within the Santa Ynez Recreation Area has been banned since 1985, the hunters were on a section of the Santa Cruz Trail near Nineteen Oaks Camp, well outside the recreation area, when they encountered a medium-sized dog heading towards them. According to the hunters, the dog began to bark at them and appeared to be acting in an aggressive manner. In response, one of the hunters began to back up and stumbled, falling down. He later reported to Sheriff’s Deputy David Valadez that the dog continued to bark and act in an aggressive manner, frightening the hunters enough that one of them took aim and fired.

Billy, the dog shot and killed by a hunter last week
Click to enlarge photo


Billy, the dog shot and killed by a hunter last week

The dog, described as being of mixed-breed and weighing approximately 50 pounds, was one of two owned by a Carpinteria area man out for an early afternoon run from the Upper Oso Campground area. The dogs were off leash and ahead of him. The report indicated that the dogs were out of sight and perhaps a hundred yards ahead when the incident occurred. The runner reported hearing the dogs barking, then someone screaming, and finally the sound of a gunshot. Upon reaching the hunters he discovered that one of the dogs had been killed.

Both the hunters and trail runner then hiked out to Upper Oso and drove to the Santa Barbara District office of Los Padres Forest near Sage Hill Campground to report the incident. According to District Ranger Pancho Smith, the situation was not confrontational; rather, one in which both parties appeared to be completely distraught.

Smith stressed the need for hikers to ensure that they keep control of their dogs. Typically, when walking or running on trails with dogs off leash they should remain within sight and voice control of the owner to ensure the safety of others, provide protection for nearby wildlife, and keep incidents like this from happening.

While use or discharge of firearms within the Santa Ynez Recreation area is illegal, Smith noted that areas of the Los Padres Forest surrounding the recreation area are open to hunting during the appropriate seasons, including many popular hiking and riding trails such as Santa Cruz Trail.

This article originally stated the dog weighed 65 pounds. According to its owner, it actually weighed 50 pounds. A correction has been made.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This is really sad, and tragic for all parties concerned. It feels pretty ridiculous to ask trail runners to "remain within sight and voice control of the owner" -- that just doesn't happen much. There is also the issue on that stretch of the sometimes out-of-control mountain bikers...what would THEY do when confronted by a racing 65 lb. dog??
One answer is to ban the dogs from this area unless kept on leash all the time....?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, just wow. I hope we find out who this "hunter" is so we as a community can make sure he is labeled and known...what happens after that is wholly up to the community.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

oops, meant to begin with "This is really sad, and tragic for all parties concerned. It feels pretty ridiculous to ask trail runners to make their dog(s) "remain within sight and voice control of the owner" etc.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What an inflammatory and asinine thing to say, "iamsomeguyinsb". Bet you'd like to publish all the addresses of gun owners in Santa Barbara, too.

How about keeping the dog on a leash if you can't keep up with it? The only person in the wrong here was the dog owner, not the hunters. If you can't control your dog, expect someone else to control it for you.

sbdude (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 2:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would think that a responsible hunter traveling on an open trail would consider the fact these are domestic animals and would take other actions to scare the dogs away before resorting to shooting it.

Shoot the gun in the air? Throw a rock? Yell for the owner? Seems there are many other options before taking aim at someone's pet wearing a collar and tags. You don't just kill it like a wild animal because it's barking at you a few feet or yards away when you're on a walking on hiking trail.

It's not a matter of who should or shouldn't have a gun and whether one should keep a dog on a leash or not in the forest. It's a matter of respecting humanity and having some
compassion.Taking a life--ANY life should be the last and final option. NOT the first reaction.

Ariel1813 (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 2:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am the owner of the dog that was killed. His name was Billy and he was by far one of the kindest dog's I've ever known. I truly wish that Mr. Ford had done more research before writing and publishing this article. There are several inaccuracies in this article, most importantly Billy's size. He was not 65 lbs. But rather 50 lbs and only 1.5 feet high. There were two hunters there and many other options besides shooting Billy. As Mr. Ford writes, 'to keep incidents like this from happening' I believe that the hunters should have used their heads could have done several other things to protect themselves, including discharging the gun in the air, hitting the dog with the gun, or kicking the dog away. Billy has NEVER bitten anyone in his too short life and would have stopped barking, because that's all he was doing, if the hunter had used another course of action. I cannot get Billy back but what would make me happy is to know that people in our community are aware that there are hunters in the back country and that something like this can happen. Hunters take on a responsibility when carrying a gun and this particular hunter abused his rights to carry one. Mr. Ford I'll be contacting your editor.

lainamalm (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 2:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know the dog in question and his owners. There are no finer dog owners in Santa Barbara, and their beloved Billy was a 50 pound bundle of love who was often featured, in costume, as EdHat's dog of the week. There is no excuse for this hunter's behavior.

Timberlake (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hearfelt condolences to Billy's owner. This sounds like my ultimate nightmare. I am a 50+ woman who has been threatened with assault while outdoors on my own; since that experience, I am happiest hiking with my 100 lb. canine best friend. While my dog is by nature EXTREMELY non-aggressive, he is sufficiently protective of me to stand his ground with a pretty serious-sounding bark if he encounters a situation that worries him (I prefer that he trot ahead a bit so that his good nose can also alert me to any hazardous wildlife encounters). A couple guys with guns would qualify as worrisome, especially if the HUMANS began "acting aggressively." It doesn't sound like Billy actually attacked anyone, as there's no indication of injury to the hunters. Why oh why oh why would anyone's first response in this situation be to SHOOT a pet? I fear this scenario says way too much about the mindset that, for SOME people, can be brought on by carrying a gun.

lgj (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not making a judgment on this particular situation, but it has been my experience that most dog owners believe their animal can do no wrong. The owners know the personality of their animal, strangers don't. When an owner says his animal "would have stopped barking", is there some reason that the person that was being barked at should have known that? My guess is that hunter perceived that animal to be a real threat. Could the hunter have taken alternative action? None of us can make that assumption, we weren't there. Unfortunately, neither was the dog's owner.

If an owner can't keep his animal within sight, it's prudent to keep it on a leash. This is a very unfortunate accident. But to make the assumption that this hunter should have known that this large barking dog was "harmless" without having seen it before is not right. If an animal's owner can't keep his animal within his sight when taking him for a walk or run, the owner should consider other alternatives on the way he exercises his animals.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't agree that there is no excuse for this.. There aren't enough details in the report to know what happened. What kind of dog was it? A pitbull attacking from above is much more threatening than a poodle barking at your heels. If someone really were under attack, it's not reasonable to expect them to fight with their bare hands for the sake of the dog.

eyeswideopen (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ban hiking.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I advocate responsible dog ownership.
Owners chose the dog,not vice-versa. So it becomes the owner`s duty to protect their pet like a child....anything less is negligence.
I have been "bluffed" by dogs EVERY time I go hiking,to the point of now carrying a large hunting knife which I brandish at attacking which,the owners get to whistling for Fido pretty darn quick!.
Animals owners are 100 & 1% responsible for the lives of their pets..without arguement.

PeterPeli (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, please consider the excessive amount of time the hunter had to make his decision to kill a domestic animal. If the dog was truly going to attack then the hunter would not have had time to stop, back up, fall down, get back up, load his gun, aim and make a clean shot. Period. The dog was just barking. Had he been on the attack the hunter wouldn't have had enough time get up, let alone shoot this poor animal. And don't take digs on the dog's owner. If you knew this family you would retract your statement and feel some compassion for what they are going through not put blame on them. This was not a trained-to-kill attack animal people, it was a terrier—a cute, loving terrier that stood just over a foot tall.

v73jen (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I highly suggest whenever you go hiking into the back country where people hunt to wear red: a hat, shirt, maybe your backpack. Get a red bandanna or scarf for your dog as well. I've never found terriers threatening despite their name.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Was there a warning shot? That in itself most likely would've frightened the dog away.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Get your f-ing guns off my hiking trails!

tammy (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

+2 PeterPeli..When the dog is out of sight of owner and feels 'threatened'(if only by the appearance of Hikers or Hunters) it's a pretty scary situation and you don't know what the dog is capable of.
I'm a Hunter and a Dog owner- as a Hunter, when I'm done hunting, my weapon is un-loaded & cleared.
When walking my dogs, they are always on-leash or in my sight & under control.
I feel sorry for both parties here-it's something that neither will ever forget.

Tubo (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In AZ, having a dog off its leash is a misdemeanor, shooting cattle is a felony, and shooting an aggresive dog gets the owner both a felony and misdemeanor sometimes. These guys were hunting feral pigs, which also attack and are very similar to a dog. If you were up on those mountains would you really want to go toe to toe with a wild (or supposed wild) animal? Hell, a bobcat, at most gets to grow to 40 lbs, but does that make it harmless?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Information for the story came from Forest Service personnel at the Santa Barbara District Ranger's office and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. Because they would not release the names of those involved, it was not possible to contact them directly.

riveray (Ray Ford)
January 22, 2013 at 4:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This will make heads explode but it's not a bad idea for hikers, especially women to carry some form of defense.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tammy, they aren't your hiking trails, stop being a tyrant.

I have no idea if those hunters made a good decision or a bad decision. I haven't met the dog. I wasn't there when the dog was being aggressive. It is a very unfortunate situation and I feel horrible for the dog owner and the hunters probably feel really bad also.

But the fact is if you are going to start banning innate human activities that people have been engaging in for hundreds of years like hunting animals with guns for sustenance, then you are going to be met with defensive force and you are going to have the blood of the battle on your hands.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

v73 - you're making way too many assumptions in your statement. We just don't know. The only ones that were there were the hunters. Only they know for sure if there were other alternatives available. None of us have the information to make that judgment.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A person lost a part of their family here. It's sad for all involved. The point is to let people know that this could happen so they can prevent it. Not an open platform to stereotype and gripe about all the hikers and pet owners in Santa Barbara.

And just a thought... Maybe you need a new activity if being "bluffed" by dogs "EVERY TIME" you hike is so stressful you feel warranted to pull a knife in front of the owners so they come get "Fido."

Ariel1813 (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

hikers who are fearful can carry hiking poles (I use 2 Leki poles); they can carry mace or Bear Spray; and one should always back up and wait...which I always do...assuming/hoping the animal will back off, or the owner will show up.
Ultimate responsibility for this is on the dog owner, sorry to say, and tragic in this case. Botany is correct that most dog owners simply assume others on the trail just "know" that their dog is fine, harmless... we cannot make that assumption. Keep dogs on leash.
What would've happened if two mtn bikers were blasting pell mell down this trail from Alexander Peak? I've encountered this a number of time... Pity the bikers.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ariel1813 (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I just saw the photo.
First, the hunters and the picture of the dog need to be widely disseminated side by side so everyone can see what scaredy cats these hunters are.
Secondly, charges should be pressed. If that dog was any threat it easily could've been drop kicked.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 5:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ban L.A.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh man. My heart goes out to the hiker/dog owner. (Even though the hunters appeared equally upset).

passagerider (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is ridiculous. These "hunters" obviously are irresponsible hotheads and should be prosecuted for negligence or perhaps sued? I wonder what legal action could be taken as they surely should be held accountable.

praireylark (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 5:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously? The dog barked at them and looked "aggressive" and their first reaction is to just shoot it? Really? Judging from the photo above and the photos on edhat, Billy looks pretty damn harmless. If two grown men armed with rifles felt like their lives were in danger at any point, I just don't know what to say. Maybe grow a set?

At no point in the article does it say that the dog charged them, and if it did a swift kick would do the trick...or throw a rock..or strike him with the rifle butt/barrel.. It's not like Billy was some large breed dog known for mauling grown men.

Trigger happy cowards.

mesamike (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 6:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the dog that was shot was the exact dog in terms of weight as the on in the photograph, I would have to admit that other means to end the situation should likely have been used. The only discrepancy I see is that the dog in that first picture I would estimate as between 20-25 lbs. The owner freely admits the dog was 50 lbs. I would submit that it could have been a more threatening situation that the pictures of the dog portray.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To the owner of the dog, I'm SO sorry this happened to your sweet dog. I can only imagine the pain you're in over this tragic incident.

I don't see how this could have happened other than just gross negligence or outright intent to kill an animal. Shooting a dog that's barking isn't just a case of overreacting, it's far beyond that.

RIP sweet doggie.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 6:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So sad. My dog, may she rest in peace, would alert to people in strange dress, I can only assume the hunters had camouflage or scent suppression clothing on that confused the dog and thus the response.

Mountain Bikers, without bells, don't know how many times I have jumped off the trail to save my own skin, JERKS.

I was blessed with a very in-tune 90lb dog, she stayed with me and my family but most dogs like to wander, it is the owners responsibility to rein them in, never know when a pack of Coyotes are looking for a meal.

I find it hard to believe that people that would go after Pigs, that can slice and dice big time, would be afraid of a dog like Billy.

Something does not smell right.

RIP little Dog.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 6:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"When your holding a hammer everything looks like a nail".
If there were no firearms involved would have been any death -- dog or human? doubtful.

billinsb (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 8:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There's no excuse for a loaded weapon on a hiking trail.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My sympathies to Billy's owner.

I'm with "howgreenwasmyvalley" on this one; something is amiss with this story, and folks macho enough to set off on a backcountry trail dig for boar should have easily stepped past a barking dog.

If I had been in the same situation and someone murdered any of my dogs -- in an unprovoked slaughter -- there would be at least two injured humans in this story.

binky (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 9:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why didn't those hunters fire a warning shot? There are plenty of rocks on the Santa Cruz trail to pick up and throw too.

I agree with HGWMV, something doesn't smell right.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 9:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More photos of poor Billy here:

I cannot believe two hunters could feel compelled to "stand their ground" against a barking Billy.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 9:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

These hunters were obviously a couple of pussies

3domfighter (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 10:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well; This is just one more instance.

This makes me completely sick to my stomach!!

If this "PIG" did not have a gun; he would not have been able to kill a pet.

this is disgusting.

I am so sorry for this dog owner. And I will press for gun control and I would like to take your guns away from who gain satisfaction from killing animals who are defenseless .
If you had not had a gun....what would you have done with a dog barking at you? The perfect argument for gun control!

Wackos like you would not be able to kill pet dogs!

You are not even ashamed.
You are a sick person.

penelopeb (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ariel1813 and mesamike, you said it best. Cowards. Cowards with guns, no less. This is horrible.

Poor Billy. To the owner: I am so sorry this happened to your precious dog. Completely insane that your dog was killed in this way. My condolences. I hope the shooter is made to pay for this.

chilldrinfthenight (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I think some of your harsh words should also be reserved for the dog owner. It was his responsibility to keep the dog close to him. Even if the hunters used poor judgment in their resolution of the situation, it doesn't absolve the dog owner from keeping his pet close enough to him. If he is unable to do so, the dog should have been kept on leash. The dog owner clearly failed in his responsibility.

I've had angry dogs bark at me before. It can be a scary feeling. People should not be subjected to that on our hiking trails either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I retract an earlier comment that the dog owner ought to have kept them on leash; Edhat states the dogs were not more than 20 YARDS ahead, thus GUN CONTROL needed here vs. the two yahoo hunters (from Brea in LA). These were not locals.
Yes, this becomes A GUN CONTROL issue here, again: why the heck are hunters up there?? It's pretty close to Alexander Saddle, and there aren't many feral pigs on the frontside of Little Pine...thus... disarm these men.
Penelopeb is often very harsh, but here she's right! There shouldn't be hunting allowed on the frontside of Little Pine Mtn., and stricter gun responsibility rules for hunters going up there. All the feral pigs are in the dense canyons running up to other mountains in the area, not much forage on the frontside.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 6:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)


I don't care where the owner was or if the little dog was barking or not. This wasn't a pitbull attacking a baby, this wasn't an out of control foaming at the mouth dog........


These hunters should lose their gun license and I think there is legal action that could be taken against them.


BeBe (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 6:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is this the same backcountry where people need to be rescued by a helicopter when they fall and twist their ankle? Obviously all the smarter folks hike this area....

I have never read so many knee-jerk reactions- not one of us was there....why was the dog away from its owner- maybe it had a strong sense someone was coming and it went to "investigate" and when it found "trouble" it stood up for itself only to find out that wasn't a good idea?

So they entire group went to the Ranger Station- sounds like it was handled by the folks who are in charge of the 'back country". Your tax dollars pay for those folks, so maybe you should take your ire out on them, school them on their job and tell them how better to run "your" trails.

While I think shooting the dog was in poor judgement and perhaps could have been avoided- the responsibility falls on the owner more concerned with themselves and not those they may encounter on the trail...what if that dog had instead scared a ipod wearing female jogger, and she fell and broke her leg? Where would the commenters lay fault then?

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 7:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

>>"what if that dog had instead scared a ipod wearing female jogger, and she fell and broke her leg? Where would the commenters lay fault then? "<<

Ronald Reagan.

eightdolphins (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A great example of how guns sway people into shooting first and thinking second. This is inexusable. This hunter has proven his inability to carry a weapon responsibly. And the hunt was over, they were hiking on a trail. Why have your weapon loaded and at the ready on the trail? What are you afraid of?

Riceman (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Where was it stated the weapon was loaded? That is assuming, and you know where that gets you.

Most hunters keep their rifle ( I assume it was a rifle, not one hunts with a hand gun), unloaded and over their shoulder. It is stupid to walk with a loaded rifle- one learns this in a hunter safety course- if you trip and fall- the rifle could go off. Now- in order to be a successful hunter, you need to have your ammo within reach, so it was probably in a belt holder in a snapped case. It takes little time to reach for and to load a single shell into a rifle.

I am positive the Rangers asked all these questions and if there was ANY irresponisility on the hunters part, there would be a citation issued.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 9:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So, losolivoslocal, if I understand you correctly, it is legal and okay to shoot and kill someone's pet if it barks at you? Because after all, you feel threatened? That is so ridiculous, I cannot believe they just let this guy walk away. So I guess it is open season on pets? The ranger was negligent as well.

praireylark (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"While I think shooting the dog was in poor judgement and perhaps could have been avoided- the responsibility falls on the owner more concerned with themselves and not those they may encounter on the trail"

No where did I say it was okay to shoot the dog. You are out of line to even suggest I said that.


losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

penelopeb and DrDan, you need to stop advocating deadly violence against millions of peaceful gun owners, stop acting like dangerous and violent tyrants. Hitler took the guns, Stalin took the guns, Mao took the guns. Prying guns away from people requires violent, deadly offensive force and plenty of innocent women and children have been slaughtered over it. People have a right to own guns for their own protection. Violent crime is lower where people have a right to own guns.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt is right: loony!
I'll advocate all I want to advocate FOR gun control and responsible gun use. Get off the Hitler, Stalin, Mao garbage...we're a long way from that. Instead, trigger-happy "hunters" from LA shoot a 45 lb dog on a frequently used trail. And you're asserting that "People have a right to own guns for their own protection." --two armed men are frightened of a friendly dog so they kill it, and you defend this, loonpt??! Get real.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan, you can't possibly have graduated medical school because you're reading comprehension is completely atrocious. Nowhere did I defend the shooters of the dog, gun owners should be held responsible for their actions. I could see a civil case coming out of this against the hunters.

However, I do not advocate a violent massacre of the population like you do.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Australia has strict gun control, but they are no Hitler, Stalin, Mao.

For a long time, British bobbies were unarmed - the UK was/is no Hitler, Stalin, Mao.

False equivalencies are just that - false.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gun control in Australia has backfired, crime has gone up 20-60%

Disarming non-violent citizens is violent in and of itself. If you are advocating gun control, you are advocating for violence against non-violent citizens. You are the Democratyrant.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If I was hiking alone in the middle of the wilderness and some big man ran towards and started obscenities at me and threatening to hurt me, you're damn right I would defend myself. For some reason, we seem to accord dogs more rights than we do humans. Dogs can poop in public, dogs can bark and attack people. I wish I was a dog, then I could bark and intimidate people all I wanted and people would still love me.
Owners always think well of their dogs. They are biased.

Schifter (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you are the Republityrant, loonpt! I am for more responsible gun control, so you wrote, "you are going to have the blood of the battle on your hands." And you advocate gun use?! Your words speaks for themselves.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt., try this article by former Australian PM John Howard on his successful gun buyback program. It's much better than your inaccurate Youtube video. People should not be shooting dogs! Read BeBe above.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the gun weren't loaded, how could it have been fired?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Schifter- excellent point. I was attacked at a restaurant by a leashed dog- the owner said I scared her dog by opening an umbrella at the table next to her. No apology for the dog biting my arm- which was raised shoulder level.
Ken- common sense tells me he took a shell from his belt and loaded it- no where in the article does it say he shot while falling or from the ground. I am guess he stood up, loaded and shot.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Ariel...nice speech.
The blood I left on the battle-field says I CAN gripe about anything I want. Your gov. gave me several medals & a letter "Thanking me for my commitment & sacrifice blah blah".
I was born in SB,so I can hike where I like etc...
And unless you work for the Indy. & set the comment standards, this IS a forum of free-speech [again,which I have provided for you via bullets hitting me in numerous places while killing those who would threaten your constitutional rights].
There`s nothing wrong with being wrong..what is wrong is,not being able to accept correction.

PeterPeli (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I suggest that some of the more apologist commentators take a look at the dog that was shot and tell me how terrifying you think it could possibly have been to even warrant the consideration of shooting in defense.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 2 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We weren't there Ken- the photo shows the dog sitting down- hardly the way the dog was described at the time of the shooting.
If someone came on my property and shot our dog- or any of our animals for that matter, I would be heartbroken. I am heartbroken for the owner of this dog- but it seems like the dog, while under his care, acted in a manner that was not acceptable by another- and the authorities in charge dealt with it.
We all need to accept that this was handled by the responsible authority.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think all "Edhatters," ooops-- wrong online blog.

Hard to tell the last few days. Probably not a good thing.

zappa (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How about making it mandatory to take a firearms safety course before being issued a gun? I think that would address this issue without infringing on the 2nd Amendment.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan wrote: "And you advocate gun use?! Your words speaks for themselves."

Again, reading comprehension DrDan, where have I advocated gun USE anywhere?? Incidentally I don't personally own any firearms and would prefer to live in a society where they are relatively non-existent. By individual choice. Not by force. That is the difference between you and me, DrDan. You want to use GUN VIOLENCE to take away guns from NON-VIOLENT CITIZENS. I advocate peaceful relations WITH ALL.

When we can learn to live in peace and harmony together, guns will begin to disappear on their own. People will lose interest in owning them if there isn't any reason to have them. People who have interest in them may live far from society and may need protection from the wilderness. Have you seen the giant wolves in Idaho? Why don't you take a google at that? How about you go and take those people's guns? I dare you.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

sbdude - no, I want the name of this guy who shot and killed a small harmless dog which was doing what dogs do - bark and protecct their owners. There was no attack - it was the action of a scared, weak and obviously stupid man and the community needs to know who this is for their own safety. His license needs to be revoked and his name plastered on posters on every trail with warnings.

I hunt and own guns. I would never hike out on a popular trail with a loaded firearm let alone shoot a dog unless he was actually attacking me or my family. You on the other hand are the epitome of a stupid gun owner and the main reason most people label us wrongly. Get a life buddy since you obviously cant get a brain maybe you can get a clue...

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

These guys were from L.A., I wouldn't be surprised if they were cops. Cops just love shooting dogs.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@loonpt, Nowhere have I stated, or urged, in any way that I "want to use GUN VIOLENCE to take away guns from NON-VIOLENT CITIZENS"... where do you parse that together? Glad you don't own a firearm, but the Second Amendment is like total religion to you... it does NOT cover all sorts of modern fast-firing weapons. To regulate this isn't the end of civilization, loonpt., as you seem to wildly believe.
Further, you write "When we can learn to live in peace and harmony together, guns will begin to disappear on their own." I completely agree, only it ain't gonna happen soon, pardner. Thus, reasonably, we reduce the supply of guns with buybacks (expensive!) and we restrict access, esp. through mental health exams and better checking procedures. See the first SIX of our President's executive decisions. Or take BC's idea: will you go ape if we require the courses he suggests?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

iamsomeguyinsb is pretty cool writing "I would never hike out on a popular trail with a loaded firearm let alone shoot a dog unless" -- most of my gun-toting friends are this way. But my problem is that there are so many on "the other side," as iamsomeguyinsb notes when he bitterly states to the guy who shot that dog: [you are] "the epitome of a stupid gun owner and the main reason most people label us wrongly."
But the angle here is that so many of the gun people are in the second camp...two guys just drive up from LA and go shooting in our local mountains...where many mountain bikers and hikers and joggers and kids...and even sometimes elderly men and women...all run around and enjoy the beauty of California. Then we get armed dudes: I friggin hate that and they make me uncomfortable. I am unarmed.
Let's ban either the guns or the dogs up there? I vote: keep dog access. Let's also limit biker and horse access since they totally wreck that fragile trail.
Sorry, imajustaguyinsb, you are undoubtedly cool and responsible, but there are so many out there like the two hunters who took down a pleasant 45 lb. dog...I guess for the hell of it.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"it does NOT cover all sorts of modern fast-firing weapons"

Bologna, DrDan!!

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -Thomas Jefferson

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good." -George Washington

"The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." -Samuel Adams

The problem with your idea of regulation is that one of the most popular items on the internet right now is a piece of aluminum people use to build AR-15s in their basement, LEGALLY, because they don't want to buy the actual AR-15 and be on a government list. Because they don't want a SWAT team to come to their house and use violent force to ensure that all of their weapons are within "regulation". Because they know if the government has a list, those weapons may be taken some day.

Why? Because they don't trust the government. Deservedly so. The Obama admin has murdered hundreds of innocent Afghani children through drone strikes, far more than any of these school shootings. Right now Obama can indefinitely detain American citizens and put them to death without trial. Right now the US government is sending F-16s to Egypt. We have spent decades arming third world countries to the teeth and bribed and blackmailed their leaders to support global corporate interests against their own democratic interests. The people who run this country are complete psychopaths. If you want to trust them, then you send them YOUR money, YOU go fight in overseas wars yourself, but stop asking me to pay for it and and stop telling peaceful Americans that they shouldn't be able to defend themselves.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Doesn't matter what size or breed the dog was. Not important. In fact, every time I've been nailed by a dog, it was some little yappy ankle-biter with a Napoleon Complex. Let's not make this another tiresome "Ban all dogs over 7 pounds" discussion.

I have dogs of a large Working Arctic breed; I have hiked in the wilderness (recently did an 8.1 mile pack hike through the Gettysburg Battlefield with two of our girls) with my dogs. We all enjoy it, it's good exercise, and I usually always learn something new.

I carry a pack with snacks, water, emergency and first air gear, the dogs also carry their own custom-made dog pack with their water, dishes, food, snacks and first aid stuff. I have a special belt I wear with rings to which I attach leashes, and off we go.

I keep my dogs leashed to me because it is safer for them; the wilderness contains skunks, snakes, poison oak, biting insects of all sorts, unseen holes and sudden drop-offs, polluted water, and other hazards. It's my job as their owner to keep them safe. If that's too much work or it might cut into my fun, then the dogs should stay home.

I carry pepper spray. If we should run onto an aggressive critter (and that includes two-legged ones), I have a non-lethal method of self-defense.

Everyone has fun, my dogs aren't endangered, we have the things we need, and plenty of self-defense should an emergency arise.

This is a truly tragic story with all the potential to turn into yet another pointless discussion about big dogs, guns, hikers, bikers and hunters, loaded with plenty of self-righteous chest-thumping, outrage, manufactured "offense", and a side order of halo-polishing...and none of it will ultimately mean or change a thing going forward.

Common sense is as rare as hens' teeth in our society: we're always looking for a reason to be offended and outraged, someone to blame, and justification for aggressive actions towards others. See how far that's gotten us all?


Holly (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Or take BC's idea: will you go ape if we require the courses he suggests?"


The other concept you still don't seem to understand is that when the government bans or regulates something, the only way that the ban or regulation has any teeth is because they have people who dress up in government costumes with assault weapons bought with stolen money that will come and shoot you if you don't comply. Shooting a non-violent person who never hurt anybody else because they disobeyed an arbitrary regulation is no more moral than shooting a random pedestrian on the street. That is why government regulation is inherently violent. Even something as benign sounding as natural gas infrastructure regulations are stupid because the regulations require them to transport and store gas a certain way which often doesn't allow for innovation and implementing even better and safer mechanisms. What you do instead is you hold people responsible for their actions. Completely. If a corporation spills something, they have to clean it up AND pay for all damages, no caps. This will ensure that the companies get insurance, and the insurance companies will help to regulate the corporations otherwise they will drop their policy or raise their rates because they won't want to make payouts. Currently, the government regulates so much that they actually remove a lot of the liability off of corporations and so insurance companies don't have to be as stringent at ensuring that the company is running a clean, safe operation. The government takes on that roll, and I think they have been doing a lousy job. On top of that, people who are uneducated about how our system works come out of it believing that the "free market" is to blame when literally EVERYTHING is regulated by government, we don't have any semblance of a free market in this country.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The first two quotes you have provided, "loonpt," are NOT found in any collection of Jefferson and Washington writings and speeches. [ loonpt, January 23, 2013 at 5:27 p.m.]

Although they are trotted out often in bogus arguments from authority.

binky (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ahh, loonpt, you need to slow it down some. The essence of your rant is people have to resist, & hang onto their ordnance, "Because they don't trust the government."
Tea Party time is over; I don't overly trust "the government." There are over 310 million people; we can't do it the way we did in 1789. Sorry to say, the government needs more power to regulate, to tax (Hurrah for Calif's Prop 30), and you will have to get used to it.
Bink has shown some of your Founding Fathers quotes are incorrect, like a lotta other stuff you rage about...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 6:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is simply no excuse for this act of violence against a small dog like Billy off leash or on! I am heartbroken and send my condolences to his owners. Why, why why????? It's so wrong on every level. I am an avid hiker and have been approached on many occasions by dogs, barking, peaceful, and so on......I have even been nipped......never once has violence against the animals occurred to me!

jboreta (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 6:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Holly- thank you for keeping the discussion about RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 8:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I just went ape over loonpt's post, but I'm better now.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 3:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've read through all of these posts and I see a lot of pretty unreasonable perspectives. A lot of commenters have been putting their jump to conclusion maps to good use and it really hasn't done anyone any good.

What I know as both a hunter and a dog owner is that both sides of this terrible event must feel absolutely devastated. My guess is that the dog owner had gone on these kind of runs hundreds of times with no issue. I am equally sure that the dog was an incredibly sweet animal that got extremely frightened when it encountered the hunters. And, having been attacked by frightened dogs before, I am also sure the hunters (especially after falling down) were frightened as well. The thought of being attacked by a rabid dog in the middle of the backcountry isn’t exactly a pleasant one. I think mistakes were made on both sides, but using this event to type spiteful and ignorant rants back and forth at one another is useless.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

All I hear is a lot of blah blah blah blah and no substantive arguments regarding why violence is warranted against a peaceful person who has never hurt anybody.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)


"How about making it mandatory to take a firearms safety course before being issued a gun? I think that would address this issue without infringing on the 2nd Amendment."

A Hunter Safety Course is required to purchase a hunting license and they needed to have a valid hunting license and pig tag, hope NFS checked.

Bottom line Society has a hard time regulating Stupid without Total Abolition, we find this with firearms, alcohol, drugs etc. This is the Catch 22 we all face in living in denser populations, reason I dislike Cities and Population Density.

RIP Billy the Dog

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

thank you common sense commenters @howgreenwasmyvalley and @Num1UofAn

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loon and Dan will you two shut up? You're arguing on the internet for gods sake...

Let's get the names of these hunters and find out their side.

Come on - someone has to know who they are?

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

anyone notice the dog was about the size of a wild pig? Of course, wild pigs rarely bark but it was moving so why not shoot it? I am distressed to learn that whackos are running around the hiking trails with guns hkilling things.In my opinion, most hunters are spineless wimps who need to carry a gun and kill something to make up for not being a real man. I am nolt anti-gun =- I was on the pistol team in the service firing the 45 pistol competitively.

deuceswild (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 11:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dueceswild- if that were the case, he would have gutted and skinned it right there- you don't take the whole animal out leave some behind for the coyotes and other feral pigs...


losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
January 25, 2013 at 6:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Has any local media outlet even TRIED to contact the hunters for their side of the story?

eightdolphins (anonymous profile)
January 25, 2013 at 1:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

South Park's Ned and Jimbo playing out in real life.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 26, 2013 at 2:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

there have been efforts to contact the two hunters; sorry iamsomeguy, but your ranting hasn't made the names surface. Put them out there yourself, do some digging dude.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 26, 2013 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't believe all the asinine things people are saying here...
We have the guy that pull a blade out on dogs when he is hiking (like a dog knows the difference between that and a twig!). And the guy that just has to throw "out of control mountain bikers" into the discussion.
The plain fact is that hunters are cowardly by definition. Someone used to shooting a deer (Or a pig or a coyote) from a 100 yards away that does not even know he is there will, of course, be terrified when confronted by a house pet.
This is why they are not allowed in recreation areas.
Condolences on your pet, Iain

Trailuser (anonymous profile)
January 27, 2013 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Part of the point here is the confusion and lack of transparency in the regulations in this area. Los Padres National Forest - "land of many uses"... on the section of Santa Cruz Trail where the shooting occurred [between the OHV Camuesa Dirt Road and 19 Oaks Camp itself] I think these are the allowed uses: hunting (various restrictions), hiking, horseback riding,backpacking, hiking with your dog(s), and mountain biking. The variety of users is too great.
Trailuser, the mountain bikers and horses do amazing damage to the trail, far more than all the rest combined. Will you admit that?
The deeper issue is GUN CONTROL, and our gun-obsessed society. Why the heck is hunting somehow allowed between Upper Oso Campground (it isn't allowed right there) and 19 Oaks Camp??! I hike there frequently, and there are lots of oldsters, children, day-hiking family groups, ATV enthusiasts back on the Camuesa Rd,...rarely horses since the trail is pretty rough, especially past 19 Oaks.
Let's ban hunting below Alexander Saddle all the way down past 19 Oaks to Upper Oso.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 27, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Today I will take my dogs and children for a walk in the woods. Children and dogs will run free. There are no traps, we will not meet men, women or children with guns. Sometimes we will meet other people on our walk, and some dogs will bark at people or animals they don't know. This happens, it is their nature. When it happens people will gather their dogs and children up, say "good morning" and walk on. I don't want to sound smug about this, but there is another way.

Onlysaying (anonymous profile)
February 16, 2013 at 4:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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