WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW
Two champion hunting dogs, who were taking part in a United Kennel Club coon hunt in LeFlore County, were shot and killed over the weekend.
Another dog was injured in the shooting.
Douglas Frerich was arrested on three felony counts of animal cruelty after admitting he killed the dogs, according to the arrest affidavit. He was released on a $15,000 Sunday (Feb. 24.)
Frerich told authorities at LeFlore County Sheriff’s Office that he heard the dogs outside on his property and that they were being aggressive.
One of the dog’s owners, Larry Stacy, told 5NEWS that he still doesn’t understand why Frerich shot his dog.
“Coons and dogs can’t read,” Stacy said. “Sometimes there’s a portion of land they get on that we don’t want them on. But they end up there because they’re running a coon.”
Stacy, and his nephew Drew Cheshier, both grew up coon hunting in Oklahoma.
“We turned our dogs loose like we do time and time again,” Cheshier said. “Dogs got treed a couple of times and then we had some dogs split off.”
Their dogs, equipped with GPS units, got a couple of miles ahead of them. Chesier started heading towards the dogs, thinking maybe they’d cornered a raccoon when he says he heard gunshots.
“We were scared for our dogs,” Chesier said. “We wanted to make sure they were in the best health they could be. And hope that what we feared had happened had not happened. Come to find out, that’s exactly what happened.”
All three dogs were shot multiple times.
Each count of felony animal cruelty could carry up to five years in jail, according to Sheriff Rob Seale.