TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting of a pit bull with a bow and arrow after pictures of the dog appeared on Facebook, Undersheriff Jason Chennault said.
Chennault said in a press release on Saturday that 18-year-old Caisen Green and his family are receiving threats as the result of picture.
In addition to a photograph of a red arrow sticking out of the dog's side, Green added a message for pit bull owners:
"For all you pit lovers out there. Here's what happens when one shows up around my house."
The sheriff's office has received numerous phone calls about the incident from throughout U.S. and around the world, Chennault said.
Chennault and a deputy are investigating the incident and have contacted Green's family, although Green has not been available for questioning, Chennault said.
Chennault asks people to stop making threats against Green and the Green family, adding that those threats will be investigated and people making the threats may be subject to prosecution.
Humane Society of Cherokee County board member Lou Hays said he was shocked and outraged by Green's message and the picture of the pit bull kill. In Hays' eyes, it appeared as though this pit bull died a slow and painful death.
"I saw a picture with a dog with a red arrow stuck in his side, which made me believe he probably died slowly, probably bled to death," Hays said.
2NEWS caught up with Hays at the HSCC's pit bull sanctuary, operated by Dee Wasson, who was choked up by the shooting of the dog.
"For someone who loves pit bulls to have somebody say, you know, 'This is for all you pit bull lovers. This is what happens when a dog shows up on my property,' it just outraged me," she said.
Both Hays and Wasson said the bad reputation that has accompanied pit bulls for so long led to the demise of this dog. Both said no dog is innately aggressive and that it depends on how one raises a dog.
Both say punishment in the form of jail time would do nothing to correct Green's view of pit bulls or help restore the reputation of the breed. Instead, they ask that Green, if he is to be punished, work at the pit bull shelter with the dogs for an extended period of time.
"It would be better for him to have to work community service, maybe 100 hours in a facility to where he can learn and be around people who love dogs and understand dogs lives," Hays said.
"If he had any kind of punishment, I'd like to see him have to work with the pit bulls. I think it would change his mind-- how he feels about the dogs, if he would just get close to the dogs," said Wasson.
Chennault said a prosecution report will be forwarded to the district attorney's office once the investigation is complete.