Recent incidents in Chubbuck have at least one local animal activist saying Southeast Idaho might have an animal cruelty problem.
That comment came after two dogs were shot in Chubbuck last Tuesday morning and another dog was left to die on the side of Yellowstone Avenue in front of Chubbuck City Hall on Saturday night.
It’s been a week and police have made no arrests for the shooting that left an adult dog dead and a puppy seriously wounded. While it’s unclear what exactly happened to the dog that died on Saturday night, the incident has been widely circulated on social media and it appears to be a case of animal cruelty.
“I think that for the size of (our community) we have more of a problem with animal cruelty here per capita than we should,” said Eileen Jackson of the Bannock Humane Society.
The dog that was injured on Saturday night did not die alone, however, after some good Samaritans stopped to not only comfort the dog but also to try to get the animal medical attention.
Breanna Hansen, a resident of Chubbuck, told the Journal on Monday that she was walking home on Yellowstone Avenue when she witnessed the black Labrador Retriever either fall or jump from the back of a moving SUV. Hansen said that after the dog fell to the pavement the person driving the SUV stopped but did not exit the vehicle to check on the seriously injured dog. The individual waited for several seconds and then continued driving down Yellowstone Avenue, leaving the dog behind.
That’s when Katie Gault, also a resident of Chubbuck, saw Hansen crying on the side of the road while trying to help the injured dog. Gault stopped her vehicle, loaded up the injured dog and then drove to a local veterinary clinic.
But sadly the dog died en route to the clinic.
Chubbuck police Lt. Robert Butterfield told the Journal on Monday that police are not investigating the incident because no one’s reported it to them.
Butterfield, however, said the investigation into the shooting of the two dogs is being investigated by Chubbuck police who are still chasing down leads on who might have been responsible.
The two dogs that were shot were a 5-year-old St. Bernard named Gypsy and an 8-month-old Great Dane named Roman. The incident occurred between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. last Tuesday after the dogs escaped from the yard of their owner’s home in the 600 block of West Chubbuck Road.
A truck driver located Roman wandering a pasture with an apparent gunshot wound to his front right shoulder area and a Chubbuck sanitation employee found a gravely wounded Gypsy a short time later in a field just behind a building on West Chubbuck Road that previously housed a tanning salon, said the dogs’ owner Shelby Hunt.
Both of the animals were transported to Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Chubbuck.
Gypsy was dead on arrival.
Hunt’s father, Jeremy Rowberry, told the Journal during an interview on Monday that veterinarian staff do not think Roman suffered any nerve damage and he is expected to recover.
Roman has started putting weight on his front right leg and Rowberry said it’s likely the dog won’t have to have it amputated.
“The more he uses it the better,” Rowberry said. “The vets said that they couldn’t believe he was alive.”
While Rowberry and his family have already paid hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills, with more looming as the pup’s treatment continues, they’re still grieving over the loss of Gypsy.
Jackson said the Pocatello-Chubbuck area is a kind community, but she thinks that people in general are not as kind as they used to be.
“There is a lot of animal abuse happening lately and I think our society has been unkind,” Jackson said. “And this surprises me because we have so many people in this community that help and care for animals. It just never seems to be enough.”
An online fundraiser has been set up to help pay for Roman’s veterinary bills. As of Monday evening $625 had been raised. To donate, visit gofundme.com/ 5zzkj34?member=637682.
For now, Rowberry is just glad to have Roman back at home.
“Roman is the only other man in the house,” said Rowberry who lives with his wife and three daughters. “And heck, he minds better than the kids do sometimes.”
If anybody has any information about the shooting of Roman and Gypsy last week or the dog being left on the side of Yellowstone Avenue to die, please contact the Chubbuck Police Department at 208-237-7172.
Jackson said local residents have a responsibility to be humane to each other and their pets and those who are cruel to animals need to be brought to justice.
”This happens everywhere, but as a community we have a responsibility to take care of who lives here — four-legged or two-legged,” she said.