Duke, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever owned by the Arnone family of Steamboat Springs, was shot and killed near his west Steamboat neighborhood on Saturday. Police are investigating.

Leah Arnone/courtesy

Duke, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever owned by the Arnone family of Steamboat Springs, was shot and killed near his west Steamboat neighborhood on Saturday. Police are investigating.

Dog shot to death in Steamboat Springs neighborhood

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— A 10-year-old dog owned by a Steamboat Springs family died Sunday morning of a bullet wound suffered a day earlier in a residential neighborhood on the city’s west side.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

“As far as what we know now, someone shot the dog with a .22 (-caliber gun),” Steamboat Springs Police Department Officer Evan Driscoll said Sunday.

Conestoga Circle resident Leah Arnone said she let Duke, a black Labrador retriever, outside at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. She said her husband, Pat Arnone, usually walks Duke in the morning but was volunteering Saturday with ski events at Howelsen Hill. Leah said because she was still in pajamas, she decided to simply let Duke out, a situation she called a “fluke.”

She said Duke wandered down the street and through an opening in a fence into the Indian Trails neighborhood, where he apparently was shot.

Duke made his way back home with a bullet in his rear end.

“About 10 minutes after I let him out, my daughter found him on our deck in a pool of blood,” Leah said.

The Arnones’ daughter, Tess, is 7 years old.

Leah said the family rushed Duke to a local veterinarian’s office, where he underwent three hours of surgery and lived through Saturday night.

Duke died Sunday morning.

“He’s an old, slow-moving, easy-going black Lab. He’s a family dog. We’ve had him since he was a baby,” Leah said. “We were there when he died, we held him.”

Leah said the vet gave the bullet to police. Driscoll said police had no definitive information Sunday about who fired the gun.

“We’re still trying to figure that out,” he said.

Driscoll speculated that, pending the investigation’s outcome, charges including felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment could be levied.

A reckless endangerment charge can be filed for discharging a firearm in public. Disorderly conduct laws prohibit anyone but peace officers from discharging firearms in public unless they are lawfully engaging in target practice or hunting.

“It certainly is a serious crime and it’s still being investigated,” Driscoll said.

Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Del Herman owns the Indian Trails subdivision and lives in the area where Duke apparently was shot. Herman’s shop is on the other side of the fence near where Duke is thought to have crossed from Conestoga Circle into Indian Trails.

Duke reportedly left a trail of blood on his way back home. Herman said he was working in his shop at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the doors and windows open, and didn’t hear or see a thing.

“I have no idea where the dog was shot,” Herman said Sunday. “I didn’t even know a dog had been shot until police came and showed me the blood trail. It did look like it stopped in my yard. But there’s a lot of traffic (in the area).”

Dogs aren’t allowed in the Indian Trails subdivision. Herman said he made that decision years ago, rather than install expensive fencing around the property. He said he sees dogs in the neighborhood now and then.

“Every once in a while I pick up one and take it to the pound,” Herman said.

He expressed disbelief at the shooting.

“I don’t like to see animals shot, of any kind,” he said. “I don’t even hunt.”

Driscoll said the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

“There certainly is no reason for anyone to be worried,” Driscoll said. “Just keep your dogs on a leash when you’re outside and keep your eyes on them.”

Residents of the Conestoga neighborhood were shaken Sunday. Next to the Arnones’ home, between it and the Hermans’ property, is a small public playground where Leah Arnone said children often gather.

Eric Edelstein said his 3-year-old daughter plays there.

“I think it’s terrible — somebody discharged a gun near our playground,” Edelstein said Sunday while throwing a tennis ball to his dog on the street.

While dogs aren’t allowed in Indian Trails, conditions are different on the other side of the fence.

“This is Conestoga,” Edelstein said. “There’s more dogs here than people.”

Standing outside her family’s home, Tess held the Arnones’ other dog, Bistro, tightly on a leash Sunday afternoon. Her spirits were cheery, despite the weekend’s trauma. Leah said in addition to the loss of a cherished pet — she referred to “Duke Arnone” in an e-mail — the family also is facing surgery costs of about $3,000. She said the Arnones had not had any previous problems with their dogs walking onto other people’s property.

She couldn’t stifle her anger.

“This can’t happen in our town,” she said. “If anyone just thinks that they can start shooting their neighbor’s dog for no good reason, it could get ugly.”

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Jason Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

The real tragedy is this sweet little child is going to lose that twinkle from her eyes and a piece of heart.Some people are just scum.

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freerider 3 years, 1 month ago

that completly sucks . somebody shot my dog when I was kid , sad

not many good guys anymore only haters and trolls

hope they get who did this

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Zed 3 years, 1 month ago

“There certainly is no reason for anyone to be worried,” Driscoll said. “Just keep your dogs on a leash when you’re outside and keep your eyes on them.” ^

Someone shoots a 22 off at 830 in the morning killing a dog and this guys says there is no reason to worry. I am very worried that there are people like this shooter in my community. Wonder if the gun is registered to someone in that area?

Maybe it was mean't to be a warning shot gone wrong? What a coward to then lie about it.

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TWill 3 years, 1 month ago

There is no excuse for a warning shot, or any discharge of a firearm, in that neighborhood (next to the playground) at any time of the day. Period!

The coward that did this has messed with the wrong people- this will be resolved.

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papafu 3 years, 1 month ago

8:30 on a Sunday morning. I can't believe folks weren't up and about and that someone didn't hear the shot. Let's see what kind of folks we have in the Indian Trails neighborhood. Speak up and let the authorities deal with this person.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm a bit confused. There seem to be unfounded accusations being made. When I say unfounded, I mean by virtue of the info given in this particular story.

It appears that Guerrilla and Zed seem to know something the rest of us don't. Could someone please enlighten the rest of us.

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bigfatdog 3 years, 1 month ago

THe SSPD know where the shooting occured. The blood path was clear. They are getting search warrants for certain properties and prefer the individuals turns theirself in prior.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

Just looked at a firearms site and it says the "peak db level" is 130db but the "mean db level" of a .22 is only 92db. Normal conversation is 70db. Travelling down the road in your car is 85db.

Couldn't find an exact definition of peak and mean db levels but I believe the mean is more akin to sustained noise like conversation or your car.

Everyone has their doors and windows closed becaus1e it's winter and with the snow cover on the ground muffling the sound, I'd be surprised if anyone did hear the shot.

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Krista Monger 3 years, 1 month ago

geez, let's get a posse together.
What is this... a lynch mob? Let the police do their job.

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arnonep 3 years, 1 month ago

dukesmom - the correct address is 1323 Indian Trails. kmm - we do not mean to incite a lynch mob, our hope is that people will visit the location and realize that there is no safe direction to discharge a weapon and realize that every man, woman, child and animal within a mile+ of this location was at risk of being wounded or killed on Saturday morning (that includes those on Hwy 40 at the time). And with this realization we hope that people will contact the Police/Sheriff/City Council/County Commissioners or all of the above and voice their concern. Our true hope and intention is to find the responsible person/persons as soon as possible. Others – there is a reason snipers shoot from inside a building if possible, the opening acts as a silencer, even poor old Duke probably didn’t hear the shot dukesdad

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. & Mrs. Arnone:

As a dog owner/lover, I am sorry for your loss, and hope the criminal(s) responsible are caught & punished.

Like it or not, however, your neighbors are entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. Presumably, you've shared your suspicions with the authorities. Accusing your neighbors of a crime, and then telling one & all where they live in a public forum is sketchy at best, and vengeful at worst. It could also provide ammunition for a defense attorney if & when this winds up in front of a judge.

I've hit the 'suggest removal' link on the relevant posts.

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dukesmom 3 years, 1 month ago

OK sep,without accusing anyone......Dukes blood trail started at 1323 Indian Trails,it was close to the building.It says in the paper the name of the man who was there,so I won't mention his name.It seems to me that if someone had shot Duke from the road,which is a long shot,then they shot at the building.Don't you think the owner of the building should be concerned about that?Especially since he and his SON were in the building at 8:30am,with all the doors and windows open.HA HA HA HA HA,can I DIE laughing at how STUPID this all is??!!??THANKS sep, for having my comments deleted,you don't happen to know these people,right?You gonna have this deleted too?

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

Sorry for your loss Pat. Not only does the whole thing suck, but explaining it to a 10 year makes it even that much worse.

BTW Heresay or not, if there is a good chance that someone is shooting a gun in city limits, I feel you are conducting a public service to let people know where they live. I have suggested a removal of SEPs post. Thanks.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

BTW Dukesmom. Take SEPs post with a grain of salt. He is king of interjecting opinions when it is most inappropriate. He seems to comment most when a death or illness are involved. Kind of like he is some sort of worldly genius, when more than likely he lives in his parents basement.

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wendy harvey 3 years, 1 month ago

People should be warned. The dog was shot on the neighboring property (the blood evidence was there until it was power washed away) and regardless of who did it...we know the "where." It is absolutely fair to say that people should think twice before walking their dogs or playing with their children in the immediate area. Someone fired a 22 caliber rifle at 8:30 AM in a residential neighborhood killing a mild-mannered family pet. This is about a dog, this is about a little girl who referred to that dog as her brother, this is about Leah and Pat who have to live with this horrible event forever, and this is about the safety of a community. I lived in DC when the sniper was running around and frankly, I feel the same way now. I don't bob and weave every time I pump gas, but there is NO WAY I'm running around in that area with my dog or my child. I'm not the jury, I'm not the judge...but common sense prevails here. I mean, c'mon, Jeffrey Dahmer had human heads in the freezer and he was innocent until proven guilty, too. Doesn't mean I'm having dinner at his house in the meantime.

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Candice Martin 3 years, 1 month ago

   My heart goes out to Duke's Family. I cried all the way from Hayden to Steamboat after reading today's article. I had a cat shot in the West Acres area a few years back with a 22. We were fortunate that she survived, but it cost me thousands to repair her leg, & I just get furious thinking that anyone could hurt someone’s pet. Pets are not just animals for the people who love them, they are family. I am SO SO sorry for your loss.
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greenwash 3 years, 1 month ago

Herman states - "Every once in a while I pick one up and take it to the pound "

Yea Right , Sure we believe you ....NOT

Lets talk to the pound and see how often you have brought an animal in.

wsefert you are probably right ...We should check his freezer.

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

Holy cow wendy calm down! This person wasn't randomly shooting some automatic weapon in a neighborhood full of people. This person was shooting a highly accurate low calliber rifle exactly where they aimed it!! I'm sure there is no need to panic the masses and never go outside again. This idiot dog hater was trying to get a dog off of their property not realizing the damage a .22 can do. I am in no way condoning what this jerk did, however comparing it to a sniper, shooting a high caliber rife, dropping people is absolutely crazy!!

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wendy harvey 3 years, 1 month ago

Hey jk...my comment was lost on you. I am drawing a comparison to not feeling safe in an area because some person who is slightly "off" is firing a weapon. You know nothing about why the person fired at the dog. Nothing. So how do you know he won't shoot at another dog? You seem to know that the shooter was trying to get the dog off the property and that "he didn't realize what a 22 can do." Are you joking? If he owns a 22 and doesn't know the damage it can do, all the more reason people should steer clear of the guys property.

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dukesmom 3 years, 1 month ago

Maybe he has gone around looking for dogs to take to the shelter,my guess is that it's not out of kindness,an obsession maybe?Don't like dogs walking around?Doesn't allow dogs on his subdivision....is it because he dislikes dogs?NOT accusing,just wondering........

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Mrs. Arnone:

The perpetrator's motives are irrelevant. A violent crime was committed against your family. No reasonable person cares if he has "issues" with dogs, or if his mommy didn't suckle him long enough.

A defense attorney, on the other hand, will. And a skilled defense attorney will bend over backwards to use your & your husband's public defamation to plea him down to a slap on the wrist. If you've been following our local DA's recent track records, you know I'm not blowing smoke.

Stay out of law enforcement's way, and give them the best chance possible to nail the neanderthal.

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

I love dogs, but I really have a problem with irresponsible dog owners. I had a dog in the neighborhood that used to invite himself over and dig in my trash can anytime he felt something inviting was there. I think he had a special taste for Double Z?! I guess to some here it was my fault for throwing out my trash. However his owner was completely dumbfounded that his dog ever left his property! I simply walked his dog to his house and there were no further problems. It is very frustrating that it had to come to this.

Wendy sorry but you are the one who is lost in your world of fear mongoring, as I said before calm down.

Dukesmom, I am terribly sorry that this happened and I know how devastated my daughter would have been had it happened to one of her furry friends!

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

jk:

The issue is that for every responsible dog owner in SB, there are 20 pinheads. Before I bought my 37-acre parcel out in the county, I lived in town. In my neighborhood, there was an open green area where the neighborhood dog owners congregated to let our dogs off leash to run & play & blow off some steam. They were always under owner supervision. They were never allowed into the street, nor into the yards of nearby homeowners. Finally, our animals were scrupulously cleaned up after. In short, we were responsible owners, and our dogs were a nuisance to no one. Nonetheless, SB Animal Control showed up and threatened to cite us with leash law violations. During the ensuing discussion, the AC Officer revealed that she was responding to "dog at large" complaints, lodged by homeowners understandably upset at dogs tearing thru their yards & garbage cans and leaving the inevitable 'deposits.'

We (the responsible owners) took it upon ourselves to deal with it ourselves. We challenged dog-walkers whose mutts were unleashed, and confronted those who refused to clean up the poop. We also reported "dogs at large" to AC, and even delivered dogs at large ourselves to Critter Court. We were pretty militant about it, and the "dog at large" problem evaporated in our neighborhood in about 60 days.

Had I encountered Duke in my yard in those days, I would have made an effort to contact his owners. Chances are, if I'd known who he was, he'd have been a welcome guest until his family came to retrieve him. If I hadn't known him, I'd have dropped him off at AC, and the Arnones would have to had to pay to get him out of doggie jail.

Whoever shot Duke will hopefully be arrested and appropriately punished.

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wendy harvey 3 years, 1 month ago

Jk...allow me to make this a little more clear for you. The crime that was committed here will likely revolve around animal cruelty and a reckless endangerment charge for discharging a firearm in public. As the article states...disorderly conduct laws prohibit anyone but peace officers from discharging firearms in public unless they are lawfully engaging in target practice or hunting." So, it's against the law (you with me JK) to fire a weapon in residential areas because...wait for it...it's dangerous. Who knew? I believe that someone who shoots at a harmless dog is unstable and I think that person should be avoided. Just a thought. In my comment, I said people and their dogs should stay away from the area where the guy lives. I did not say people should "never go outside again" as you so astutely interpreted my previous comment (just in case you missed it...I don't really think your interpretation was astute). You, I gather, believe these were the actions of a completely harmless person who didn't know a 22 could actually do any harm and he won't do it again because...what? He realized that a 22 can kill and it was all just a big mistake? Okay, genius, but I don't agree. I expect that whomever shot the dog has some serious anger/rage issues...and yes...that scares me. If that fear mongering or just common sense? By the way, we all thank you for walking the dog home and not shooting it for going in your trash.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

Just an observation about the folks complaining about dogs getting into garbage. sep and jk, we live in bear country. Your garbage is required to be locked inside your garage or in a bear proof container. If it is outside in a container that is easy enough for a dog to raid then its certainly not in a bear proof container. It would appear to me that you are breaking the laws regarding bear proof containers. So get off your high horses and lock up your garbage like responsible citizens of bear country.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 1 month ago

A sane dog hating person would have caught that 10 year old lab and delivered it to Critter Court. After the fees to get their dog back, the dog owners would not let it happen again.

The sort of person that shoots a dog has serious issues. Anyone shooting a 22 has to expect that it could kill.

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dukesmom 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes,pork eating guy and jk,I will forever regret letting Duke out that morning,you can joyfully rest in knowing that I am feeling the pain of my bad decision.I loved Duke and will miss him for the rest of my life.So,now that we have gotten that out of the way. Lets keep in mind the danger of the man who pulled the trigger.He is 100 yards away from our neighborhood playground.What's going to happen this summer when all those annoying children are playing and making too much noise?I sure hope he doesn't lose it then and pull out his 22,gosh that could be devastating!

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Mrs. Arnone:

No one has accused you of having made a "bad decision." No one is "joyful." There's only one guilty party here, and his name isn't Arnone.

Take a breath.

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OYvey 3 years, 1 month ago

Keeping your family and little girl in my thoughts and prayers. It's hard enough to lose a pet, as we tend to love them more like a family member than simply an animal. But to have it happen in this fashion is so devastating. I had a similar experience when I was younger when a neighbor shot my horse because the wind picked up one night and blew a small piece of horse puckey onto his driveway. He was never charged with anything because it was considered an "annoyance". I had kept my horse on my 15 acre property for years, and never had it happen before...God forbid we call a neighbor every once in a while. So sad what times have come to these days. Anyways....I understand what you're going through!

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guerilla 3 years, 1 month ago

Remember the guy who starved the horse? Almost to death? The Routt County authorities let him go without even a warning. Wreckless Disregard is what is wrong with America. Take America Back.

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guerilla 3 years, 1 month ago

Why do my comments keep getting removed? Am I not entitled to an opinion? If I knew exactly what I was doing wrong I could tone it down.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

"Take a breath" Seriously SEP. Who are you and what makes you think people want to here what you have to say in times like these? No one cares about you, or your posts. Sometimes the wisest thing to say is nothing. Go outside, take a walk and try to meet some people. You might learn a bit or two about social interaction. What is appropriate and what is not.

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lessworkmoreskiing 3 years, 1 month ago

Don't worry dog killer, you will get yours too.

Weird how karma works out sometimes

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ftpheide 3 years, 1 month ago

BillyD, As an on looker - I don't understand your attack on Sep.. All of his comments show great remorse about what happened to Duke. It seem all Sep. wants express is " let the police investigate and handle this case". Sometimes comments made can hinder the out come of an investigation. This is a very emotional issue. Be careful what you post and if you have information contact the SSPD.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

SEP has a very bad habit of interjecting opinions when deaths, assaults, or tragic incidents occur. It is hurtful to tell someone to relax, take a breath etc in these instances. There is a pattern that is very offensive to me. It includes numerous instances and posts, including but not limited to the women who was assualted.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

Billy is right. We don't need Sep and his "Better than thou" attitude making degrading and derogatory comments toward the Arnone family while they are grieving over the loss of their pet.

Hoenstly Sep, who in their right mind would make comments about how they are a responsible dog owner for never letting their dog roam the neighborhood unattended on a story about a dog being shot while roaming unattended.

Talk about a slap in the face to the Arnone family. I agree that Sep's comments should be deleted.

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MrTaiChi 3 years, 1 month ago

I've posted before concerning self-help dog murders, so it is no inconsistency for me to say that someone who would shoot a dog is lower than whale manure.

Sep- this is the second time recently that a poster has vented his spleen at you. I don't remember anything like what you've been accused of. I'm generally foursquare with your opinions and note that your spelling and grammar would please your high school English teacher. The remark about ,"propeller beanie be upon him", still breaks me up. Keep on truckin' Mr. Natural.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

weststmbtres:

If you review the post in question, you'll note I was addressing myself to jk - NOT to Mrs. Arnone. If anyone interpreted it differently, my apologies for being unclear.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

Just a couple, but....

"but she's guilty of exceedingly poor judgment." (Involved physical assualt)

"Don't skimp on winter tires. Put off the flat screen or the iphone, & set aside the $$ for good tread when you need it most." (Involved the death of a friend)

This stuff drives me crazy, and to me, is most assuredly inappropriate.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

BillyD:

We'll have to agree to disagree. You clearly think I'm some kind of thug. I'm equally convinced that you're breathtakingly thin skinned.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 1 month ago

Not a thug, just wildly inappropriate. People involved just don't want hear that stuff. Its kind of dumbfounding to me that you can't see, or identify that.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

Again, I agree with Billy. People don't want to hear your inapproriate comments. It doesn't matter who you were addressing. The Arnone's lost a family member because their dog was roaming without supervision. In the comments under the story you decide that you should make a statement that you are a responsible dog owner because you have never let your dog roam unattended. That is the most insensitive comment a person could make in light of the subject matter.

You might as well be a third grader on the playground chanting; "I'm better than you-ou, I'm better than you-ou, Nah-Nah-Nuh-Nah-Nah!!!"

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Here's what's inappropriate: publicly accusing a citizen in this community, by name, of committing a violent crime. But you've convinced me.

Mr. & Mrs. Arnone:

I now regret having had your previous posts removed. Tell you what: go ahead and repost your accusations: “___ did it.” In all caps, just like before. I promise to leave it alone. Later on down the line, if & when this lands in court, the perp’s attorney will be able to show how his client was publicly vilified before he ever had a chance to defend himself. If our notoriously tepid DA finds that to be a mitigating factor, you can “joyfully” pat yourselves on the back for having compromised the prosecution. If the perp gets off completely as a result, I’m sure your neighbors will appreciate all you’ve done for public safety.

It’s little to me. I’m out in the sticks, and safely away from your neighborhood and its gunslingers. Knock yourselves out. And good luck.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

MrTaiChi:

I'm sure the late, great, Mrs. Martindale thanks you for the compliment. She saw to it that my "compare & contrast" essay (one of the rare A+'s to punctuate my lamented academic career) re: George Shearing & Keith Jarrett, was published in the local paper.

You now have me reconsidering my nic. Mr. Natural... hmm.

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Essam Welch 3 years, 1 month ago

County Judge James Garrecht set a great precedent for this type of action...
http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2009/oct/07/no_jail_time_bear_shooter/?print ... Discharge guns and kill animals at will in Steamboat Springs!

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Essam:

I had forgotten about that clown. Any idea how the taxidermy bill was resolved? I hope it all came out of the dipstick's pocket. If he wound up with possession of the pelt, I'll be really irritated.

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ftpheide 3 years, 1 month ago

Sep, I hope you didn't offend anyone with your last comment. We've got clowns that could be upset and people that own vehicles with dipsticks!

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 1 month ago

Good point. It could be irritating if I irritated the irritable.

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exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

How about everyone take some iodine pills and chill for a bit.

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