Man arrested for allegedly shooting dog [Updated]
Published 4:30 pm Monday, October 20, 2014
An Ivor man is out on bond after being arrested for allegedly killing a neighbor’s German Shepherd.
John P. Launderville of Main Street was charged last Wednesday for maiming or killing of animals or fowl as well as reckless handling of a firearm, both of which are misdemeanors.
Maj. Gene Drewery, a spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, stated, “Launderville allegedly shot a neighbor’s dog that was on his property. Launderville has livestock and was concerned for the safety of his animals. Launderville admitted he did not see the dog disturbing his livestock.”
Drewery added, “A neighbor had made the complaint about their missing dog, that Launderville was a suspect and the investigating officer developed probable cause for Launderville’s arrest based on his investigation.”
The dog, Nikki, was owned by Selena Wynne of Millfield Road, where the incident allegedly took place. About a week after Nikki went missing, Wynne said she approached Launderville to ask him if he’d seen a stray dog that may have hurt her pet.
“I was jovial and talking to him about his baby and I was absolutely dumbfounded,” Wynne said. “He said, ‘No, I haven’t seen a stray dog.’”
After asking him if he’d seen Nikki, Wynne said Launderville admitted to shooting her dog.
Wynne said that his livestock, pigs and chickens, could not have been part of the reason because Launderville told her that he wasn’t aware that the animal he shot was Nikki until he got up on her.
“The last thing I asked him was to tell me that she didn’t suffer,” Wynne said. “And he said he put her down, which to me means he shot her twice.”
Wynne said Launderville buried the dog on his property and she called the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office so that she could get Nikki back and bury her on their property. The deputies did get Launderville to dig up the dog and return her to the Wynne family for burial before later charging him on Oct. 15.
Wynne’s husband, Allen, also spoke to Launderville a little later. Wynne said that Launderville told Allen that the shooting was accidental, that he just saw something move and shot it, adding that he’d had trouble with animals messing with his livestock.
“If you have a gun, the first thing they teach you is if you don’t know what you are shooting at, don’t shoot,” Wynne said. “My husband said, ‘What if I was out there looking for her and I had bent over, would you have shot me?’ He didn’t say anything.”
Wynne said Nikki was a kind dog and that she never messed with her chickens.
“This has just been very traumatic for me,” she said. “Nikki was not my dog, she was a member of my family… I’ve had her for 10 years, ever since she was four weeks old and we found her in the middle of the road.”
Wynne said it’s a safe neighborhood full of people who love animals.
“We all live out in the woods and our dogs run freely,” Wynne said. “I’ve been out here since 1995. I’ve never seen a wild dog or a coyote.
“It’s pretty sad that he’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist. But if it teaches him a lesson that you can’t just go and shoot an animal because you see it moving — hopefully it can possibly save someone else’s animal from being killed.”
A hearing date is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16, in Southampton General District Court.
Initial attempts to contact Launderville were unsuccessful.
Staff Writer Stephen H. Cowles contributed to this story.