by: David Ham Updated:
A man who was upset with his neighbor’s dog took his shotgun -- but he fatally shot the wrong dog, according to Bellingham police.
Loyce Andrews said her 13-month-old Welsh Corgi Molly died in her arms in her backyard on Undine Street.
"He just came up to the fence and shot her in the chest," Andrews added,. "I held her the whole time she was dying; she was on the grass. She was screaming and panting."
Her husband, Cary Chunyk, said he was with Molly by the fence when he saw 55-year-old David William Latham shoot his dog.
"I couldn't believe what I just saw. He turned and just faced me and just gave me this look like i'I just shot your dog," said Chunyk.
Police said the shooter was upset about dogs in the area barking continuously.
Andrews said Molly and her other Corgi, Kirby, were not barking when Latham approached her backyard.
"It's a horrible, horrible way to do die. You don’t do that. I don’t care whose dog it is, you don’t do that," Andrews said. "It's senseless, it's ridiculous, it's incomprehensible."
Appearing before a Whatcom County Superior Court judge on Monday afternoon, Latham pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty, reckless endangerment and brandishing a firearm.
Prosecutors asked for his bail to be set at $50,000 because they think he is a danger to the community. The judge pointed out he does not have a violent criminal history.
"I'm scared to death of what he's going to do. I don’t know if he's going to come over here and shoot me," said Andrews.
The judge said that he does not think Latham will be a danger to the neighborhood, but ordered him to stay away from Andrews and Chunyk, banned him from having firearms, and prohibited him from having any alcohol or drugs.
Latham's next court appearance is set for Oct. 26 at 9:30 a.m.