Decatur Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Hunting Dogs
BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — A Decatur man will be spending time in jail after he pleaded guilty to killing two hunting dogs in December 2015.
Benjamin Hudson, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one count of felony first-degree criminal mischief during a plea agreement on Thursday (March 9), said Sam Martin, deputy prosecutor.
Hudson was arrested after he shot and killed two hunting dogs, valued between $3,500 to $18,000, on Dec. 1, 2015, according to a warrant affidavit. Hudson told Benton County deputies that he heard dogs barking and bothering his cows, so he went outside to investigate. He said he found the dogs in the middle of his property and that the dogs were up to something.
Hudson told deputies he yelled at the dogs and then fired a warning shot to frighten them, but they didn’t go away, the document states. Hudson said didn’t hear or see anyone else in the woods that the dogs belonged to.
He said after the dogs didn’t leave, he shot one of them and said he hoped the other would run off, but it didn’t. He told deputies that he eventually shot both dogs.
He said the dogs were close to his cattle, so he dragged the dogs down the hill, which is when hunters approached him. The hunters owned the dogs, and called deputies.
The dogs were wearing GPS collars, and deputies determined that the dogs were not close to the cattle pens, the affidavit states. One was 93 yards away and the other was 187 yards.
The dogs’ owner told deputies that both dogs were registered through the United Kennel Club Registering Office. The owner estimated each of the dogs’ worth to be in the thousands because of their training and certification.
The hunter told deputies that he’d received permission to use that land about 20 years ago from another Hudson, but he had never met Benjamin Hudson.
Hudson was sentenced to probation and 60 days in jail, with credit for two days that he has already served.