Man accused of shooting dog |

Man accused of shooting dog

A Carbondale man took animal control into his own hands Thursday and allegedly killed his neighbor’s dog because it trespassed into his yard.

Ted Coffman, of 6334 Highway 133, allegedly used a shotgun to shoot a dog belonging to his next-door neighbor. Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies and county animal control personnel are investigating the incident.

Andrea Peabody, of Carbondale, sister of dog owner Cynthia Tanis, said the dog was a 13-month-old Rottweiler. The dog was accustomed to visiting the yard next door, she said, because her sister’s former next-door neighbor often fed the dog treats.

Coffman moved into the house next door to Tanis and her husband about two weeks before the incident, Peabody said. Shortly after moving in, he told the Tanis family that he was afraid of Rottweilers because one had bitten his son, and he warned them he would kill the dog if it strayed into his yard, according to Peabody.

Peabody said at the time of the incident, the Tanises were in the process of installing invisible fencing that delivers an electric shock to a special collar if the dog crosses a certain area.

She said when the dog strayed into Coffman’s yard, he got a shotgun and shot the dog in the neck. At that point, Peabody said, a neighbor across the street, who was exercising horses, shouted to Coffman to stop shooting, fearing the sound would scare the horses. Coffman fired another shot, she said, which came dangerously close to a 19-year-old friend of the Tanises, who was in their yard.

Peabody said she thinks Coffman should have called to complain that the dog was in his yard, rather than simply shooting it.

“We know the dog was on the wrong side of the fence,” she said, “but we think they could have been more neighborly.”

Coffman could not be reached for comment Friday, and repeated attempts to contact him over the weekend resulted only in a busy signal on his telephone line.

ReRe Baker, Pitkin County’s animal safety director, said Friday she couldn’t release any information on the incident because it is still under investigation.

“I’m not going to comment on it until we see what we’ve got,” Baker said.

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