Tahlequah Daily Press

February 20, 2013

Teen: Pit bulldog was aggressive, looked ill

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A Cherokee County teenager who killed a pit bulldog last week and later posted the dog’s picture on Facebook told sheriff’s officials Tuesday the dog was aggressive and looked ill.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault interviewed 18-year-old Caisen Green Tuesday evening. Chennault said he will add Green’s statement to his report and deliver it to the District Attorney’s Office Wednesday. Prosecutors can then decide whether Green will be charged.

“Caisen [said he] was in his yard Wednesday evening practicing with his bow and arrow,” said Chennault. “The pit and a smaller, non-pit bulldog came into the yard. The pit bulldog looked diseased.”

Green told Chennault he tried to scare the dogs away; although the smaller dog left, the pit bulldog growled and began to move toward Green, so he shot the canine. The dog then ran about 30 yards and died, Green told Chennault. Green’s father decided to burn the dog’s body because it looked sick.

Chennault said it appears the dog had been dumped in the area.

Green posted a Facebook message and photo of the dead pit bull with an arrow protruding from its side last week. He also attached a message directed to “pit lovers” with the photo, and explained, “Here’s what happens when one shows up around my house.”

Humane Society of Cherokee County volunteers were outraged when they learned of the photo and accompanying messages.

Lou Hays, who volunteers with the HSCC, said Green bragged about killing the dog, but at the time had not indicated that the animal was causing any trouble when he shot it. He said the HSCC would push for Green to be prosecuted and receive community service at the local shelter.

Green’s post was eventually removed, but not before it was shared with thousands of people across the globe.

Calls, emails and faxes flooded into Cherokee County authorities over the weekend. People across the world demanded Green be arrested and prosecuted, and that he also be expelled from school and lose his ability to play high school basketball as punishment for the act.

Some made those requests through petitions, which were provided to the sheriff’s office, Daily Press, and a number of other local and state officials this week.

Several Facebook pages were created in response to Green’s actions, and a number of threats were made against Green, whose address and other personal information was widely shared across the Internet.

Chennault said the sheriff’s office is taking those threats seriously, and those who made the threats could be prosecuted.

Green was forced to leave the county Saturday because of the threats.

Chennault said his meeting with Green and Green’s father and attorney Tuesday had to be set up at an “undisclosed location” because of the seriousness of threats made toward Green and his family.