The Game Warden Said ‘Pearl’ Was Chasing Deer… But Did He Go Too Far?

“She never ever killed anything, she was just such a beautiful, beautiful dog,” said Suzanne McCullough. “There’s not a day goes by that we don’t think about Pearl. We miss her dearly.”

A Stockbridge family continues to speak out after their 7-year-old bloodhound, Pearl, was shot and killed by a Vermont Fish and Wildlife warden.

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“Like Suzanne said, she wouldn’t harm anything, she was a sweetheart,” said another family member.

Regrettably, now a small tombstone now marks where Pearl is buried. She was shot in late April by a Vermont Fish and Wildlife warden who claims Pearl was chasing deer.

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Officers say pet owners are usually warned, then fined, when a dog is repeatedly trying to harm wildlife. Pearl’s owners were warned after neighbors complained about the hound running lose on multiple occasions.

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 But, McCullough says the family never got a fine before Pearl was killed.

“My daughter was out back in the ledges looking for her that day and she heard the gunshot,” she said.

The law also states that officers can shoot dogs if they are in close pursuit of endangering wildlife. In this case, they say Pearl had trailed moose and deer tracks in the past and was spotted chasing deer they day she was shot.

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“Sure there are other options, but to save the lives of wildlife to continue this protection, there was no other option that day,” Batchelder said.

But the family says they should have gotten more than one warning about the problems Pearl was causing.

“We would have figured out a plan and we would have just gone and gotten Pearl, rather than having her killed,” said another family member.

Batchelder says while he didn’t pull the trigger in this case, he has been it the situation before and says it’s a gut-wrenching decision for a warden.

“Bringing that collar to that individual after the deed is done, is something you couldn’t wish on your worst enemy. It’s awful,” he said.

Pain this family knows as they are forced to say goodbye to a family pet.

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Do you think the game warden had to shoot Pearl?


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