Can husband shoot loved family pet

can my husband shoot my loved family pet when I’m not home and not get in trouble for it? And kept it secret for over 6 months while I ran around town putting up posters, searching, getting others to search…getting friends to help us during our time of mourning…and all along he’d shot and killed my dog? What do I do?

If you’re for real, you probably need to get a divorce, if your husband is capable of something like that.

How did you find out he shot the dog? I assume the dog was not sick or injured, either?

If you have proof. It depends on what state you’re in and what the laws are there. Some (with proof) can go as far as arresting and jailing him for cruelty to a domestic companion animal. Some won’t go so far with a criminal charge, but may support you on the civil side with suing him for destruction of property. Some will support both.

Either way, I would move out or kick him out, whichever can happen faster. Then divorce him, full stop.

How weird. Why did he say he shot the dog? Was it just pure meanness, was the dog suffering from a disease of aged and infirm, did it make messes inside? Was there any rationale he offered?

Re your specific inquiry on a real world basis the police and/or prosecutors are unlikely to spend any real time chasing someone who terminated his pet unless he did so in a cruel manner and beyond that the cruelty has to be proved. If he was the only witness to the deed you are probably out of luck.

As the others pointed out if you are living in a house where your SO is gunning down your pet dog (for whatever reason) and lying to you about it, you have bigger and more immediate fish to fry in your relationship than the death of the dog.

I agree – unless he really didn’t shoot the dog, but said he did to get you to stop searching because after six months he couldn’t stand it anymore.

Your problem is not really a legal one, and you shouldn’t be looking to the police or to law enforcement agencies to solve it for you. That way lies disappointment.

You have a husband who (a) has a gun, (b) shoots animals with it, and © lies about or conceals what he has done. You give no clue as to why he shot the animal, which might have some bearing on any overall conclusions that might be drawn, but basically if I were you I would be worried. And it’s not a worry that any police action could possibly resolve.

Possibly: Discharging a firearm in a residential area?

Possibly. Or possibly not. It depends on whether he shot the dog in a residential area, and on whether discharging a firearm in a residential area is an offence in the jurisdication where all this happened. And, of course, on whether the commission of the offence can be proven, given that the accused cannot be compelled to testify against himself.

But, regardless, even if he is charged and convicted that doesn’t solve the OP’s problem, which is that her husband has a gun and uses it in distinctly worrying ways. Which, as I say, is not fundamentally a legal problem.

Just wanted to second. Leave him as quickly as possible. Even if he didn’t shoot the dog, someone that would lie about that is not someone you want to be around.

I think it may only be legal to shoot unloved family pets.

I think you need a new pet and a new Husband and not in that order.

Advice is better sought in our forum called In my humble opinion Moved from General Questions.

samclem, moderator

My father shot our beloved family dog. The dog had just been horribly injured and so he took it out back and shot it to end it’s misery.

He didn’t get in any trouble, but this was back in the early 60’s.

If the OP’s husband really did shoot a perfectly healthy dog that was not a danger to anyone, wouldn’t that be considered cruelty to animals?

I don’t see any difference between shooting the dog and having him put down by a vet. Shooting him does open up the possibility that this individual has some things going on that raise some red flags but not necessarily.

I do see a big problem in him not being honest about it. Did he give you a reason, was he afraid of your response? I would pursue this with him. Be careful he might shoot you next!

A quick painless death of an animal wouldn’t normally be considered cruelty. You don’t need a reason to put down a pet even if they are healthy. Laws vary by state (and may be different overseas) but in general you can kill animals that you own as long as you do so without excessive pain or cruelty. Healthy cows, chickens and pigs aren’t a danger to anyone but we kill them every day.

My stepdad killed one dog of ours that he didn’t like. And my favorite cat, though he never 'fessed up to that. He was born and raised in the country. Pets in general was a concept he just really didn’t get. Animals had to have a purpose, not be just pets. He had no problem taking them out somewhere and not bringing them home. It was just the way it was, and expected to be no big deal.

Any man who shoots his wife’s beloved pet without her agreement is a fool

Depending on where, various property statutes as well as animal cruelty charges could come into play but would probably be fines and not very great ones at that. The best chances for retribution would come in/during a divorce.