Tahlequah Daily Press

March 25, 2013

Victim of theft still mourns dogs killed by culprit

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — More than a month after discovering his two beloved dogs had been shot and killed in their own yard, Wagoner County resident Rob Chambers still mourns his loss and wants to find the culprits.

Chambers had already been dealt a blow the previous month when his trailer was stolen from his home south of Locust Grove. The trailer was later recovered at a recycling center in Cherokee County, where surveillance footage caught a glimpse of the man who sold it to the business. Authorities now have a description of the man and the truck he was driving.

Chambers said investigators from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office handled the case and turned a report into the District Attorney’s Office. But in the meantime, something worse happened.

On Feb. 9, Chambers returned to his home and found his three gates opened.

“I knew something was wrong,” said Chambers. “I drove down to my house and found my two beloved dogs dead in the front yard. I had raised them from puppies, and they were 11 years old.”

Both pets were outside of Chambers’ home, bound by a fence, when they were shot.

“There was no reason to shoot them,” said Chambers. “Brownie, the female, was under the deck and was trying to hide, and the male, Cody, was lying in front.”

Chambers said his home had been burglarized and his belongings had been stripped away by thieves.

But the loss of Cody and Brownie hurt the most.

“Stealing something from somebody’s house is one thing,” Chambers said. “To shoot their pets, which are considered part of the family to most people, isn’t right. My dogs were part of my family. I look for them every day when I come home.”

The Humane Society of the U.S. is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible for shooting Chambers’ dogs.

“We hope our reward helps find whoever is responsible for shooting these innocent dogs who were penned at the time of the reported burglary, and posed no threat to any intruder,” said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma state director for The Humane Society of the U.S.

The person responsible for the crimes could be from the Hulbert area, Chambers said. He believes the man who stole his trailer may also be responsible for breaking into his home in February and killing his pets.

“You can’t see my house from the road, and unless you know I lived out there, you wouldn’t know there was a house back there,” said Chambers. “I think they got a good look [when they stole the trailer] at what they wanted to get the next time they came out.”

The thieves took fishing poles, portable generators, a tile saw, sports and Star Wars memorabilia – even sentimental items.

“There was a Christmas picture [that was stolen] of my niece when she was 5 years old,” said Chambers.

The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the February burglary and killing of Chambers’ pets. According to Major Dustin Dorr’s report of the probe, the gates to Chambers’ property had been cut open.

Officers recovered a number of spent .22-caliber shell casings and some live rounds of ammunition next to the fence. They also photographed tire tracks found at the scene, and tried to collect fingerprints that were found.

“I hope someone who knows something will come forward with information about this terrible crime,” said Chambers.

Anonymous tips can be made by calling (918) 485-7799, and information can also be provided to the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office at (918) 485-3124.