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.

Detective assigned to Steamboat dog-shooting case

Police say they have leads; Hermans say they weren’t involved

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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.

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Police say someone shot Duke, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever owned by the Arnone family of Steamboat Springs, in front of the trash containers on the right side of this building at 1327 Indian Trails.

— Two men working at a shop near where police think a dog was shot Saturday morning say they have no idea who pulled the trigger.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Dave Kleiber said Tuesday that Duke, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever owned by the Arnone family of Steamboat Springs, was shot in the rear end while wandering in front of a Dumpster at 1327 Indian Trails. Despite surgery, the dog died Sunday.

“We have some viable leads that we are following right now,” said Kleiber, who was assigned the case Monday.

Police have canvassed the Indian Trails neighborhood twice, Kleiber said, but no one has come forward as a witness to the shooting.

Del Herman said Tuesday that he was having coffee at the shop and helping his son Rod change a tire Saturday morning at about 8:30 a.m., the time police say the shooting took place. The Hermans own the building as well as the subdivision.

Del Herman and his son said Tuesday that they did not hear any gunshots and that they have no idea who might have shot the dog.

“Of course I didn’t, and he didn’t,” Herman said about Rod. “He’s innocent as hell, just as I am.”

Herman said an automotive shop in the building was closed, but he saw a few people in the area, including a friend who came to pick up a trailer. There were people driving by the property, and some people in the neighborhood sometimes use the trash containers where the dog was shot, Herman said. He said he learned about the shooting when three police officers showed up at the shop.

Rod Herman also said Tuesday that he did not see or hear anything unusual Saturday morning.

“I wouldn’t shoot a dog,” Rod Herman said. “That would be devastating.”

Police say a bullet recovered from the dog showed it was shot with a .22-caliber gun.

“I’ve got a couple of them, and I offered them to the police,” Rod Herman said about .22s. “They didn’t take me up on it yet.”

Kleiber would not say whether there are any suspects, but he said there are people he wanted to interview and people are cooperating. He said police are taking the case seriously.

“We’re looking at various legal options that are available to us to do what we can to investigate this,” Kleiber said.

Charges including felony animal cruelty, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment could be levied. Kleiber said it is also a possibility that the shooting was justified if the dog was going to hurt someone.

“You’d be absolutely justified in using deadly force to keep that from happening,” Kleiber said.

People with information about the shooting can call Kleiber at 970-879-4345. Those who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or e-mail mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

bcpow 3 years, 9 months ago

"He's innocent as hell, just as I am" Hmmmmmmmm......

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hereandthere 3 years, 9 months ago

They did not pick up the Herman's .22 guns, for testing? They have the bullet, but not willing to do ballistics on guns belonging to the owner of the property that the dog was shot on?

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hereandthere 3 years, 9 months ago

Possibility that the dog was going to hurt someone? A 10 year old Lab? Not sure about Kleiber, may not be the best person to put on this case.

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ftpheide 3 years, 9 months ago

hereandthere, I doubt the actual gun used was offered to the police. I'm sure they own many guns and the one used is off the property. As far as canvassing the Indian Trails subdivision - those homeowners don't own the land under their property . They pay a monthly lot rent. Just like a trailer park. The Hermans own the land. Unless you want to endanger your living situation I doubt any of the residence will say anything.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 9 months ago

It's possible the round extracted from Duke was too damaged to provide any useful ballistics.

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OYvey 3 years, 9 months ago

Nobody is going to step forward and admit that they did this...not when we see the picture of the beautiful young girl holding her dog in the paper every day. And especially not in Steamboat where dogs nearly outnumber people...The police department may actually have to WORK at something to get this case closed ((gasp)).

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wendy harvey 3 years, 9 months ago

In my opinion, if this was a "justified" shooting of Duke (a 10 yr old lab with no history of aggression and a dog that has grown up with a little girl from the time she was a baby) then whoever did it would have no problem admitting he/she did it. People tend to deny things when they are going to get in trouble for having done them. Again, in my OPINION, this was the action of a profoundly unstable individual. It is not a "normal" reaction to shoot a dog for...what? Sniffing your trash? Wandering on to your property? Peeing on your shrub? Yell at it, call the owners, call animal control, call your therapist...don't shoot it with a 22 in a residential neighborhood!

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ftpheide 3 years, 9 months ago

It wasn't a justified shooting. Their are people in this world that are heartless and unstable. They take their rage out on the helpless. They are also incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions because they are weak. Duke wasn't an agressive dog. He came from a loving home. Most likely the shooter didn't come from a loving home. Duke wasn't shot because he was accused of chasing livestock ( THE EXCUSE COMMONLY USED IN AG. SITUATIONS ) He was shot by a disturbed person. I have alot of faith in the SSPD. One of the current investigators had a puppy (a few years ago) that was shot in the face because its owner was a cop. Let them handle this.

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Anthony Cyrnak 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if the detective has thought about asking the Hermans if they would be willing to take a lie-detector test to verify their statements.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 9 months ago

Sep, why aren't you railing against your cohort ftp about accusations like you did the Arnone family yesterday?

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lessworkmoreskiing 3 years, 9 months ago

I hope karma takes a bigger toll on you that anything the law can do. Don't worry... it's coming to you.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 9 months ago

weststmbtres:

Good catch. I missed it. He has a point, ftp.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 9 months ago

My last word on the subject:

When I said I’d ignore the diatribes against the Arnone’s neighbors from here on out, I was serious – although I note the victims haven’t returned to repost their indictments. I’m guessing cooler heads may have prevailed upon them to step back. Which is not a slam against the victims. If some idiot offed my dog, you can bet I’d be pissed off too.

If you don’t believe in equal protection under the law, or in the legal presumption of innocence, that’s your prerogative. If you further believe it’s worthwhile to take to a public forum & risk compromising the system’s chances of imposing meaningful penalties on the perpetrator; that too is your privilege. I’m unclear, however, on how it enhances the victims’ stated goal of “public safety”.

Regardless, I’m out in the county, and the jerkweed gun owners in that neighborhood are no threat to me & mine. I’ve made the case for leaving it alone & letting law enforcement do its thing. You either get it or you don’t. Knock yourselves out, and good luck.

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ftpheide 3 years, 9 months ago

Weststmbtres, I didn't make any accusations in my comment. The disturbed person was only referred to as "the shooter".

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weststmbtres 3 years, 9 months ago

ftp

you said,

"I doubt the actual gun used was offered to the police. I'm sure they own many guns and the one used is off the property."

Your pronoun "they" refers to persons named in the article who were offering guns to the police.

How can you say that comment is not an accusation?

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MrTaiChi 3 years, 9 months ago

You know I don't disagree with the statements that the presumption of innocence is important and cloaks all suspects until an acquittal, guilty plea or conviction, but there are things going on that are complex and in more realms than just the criminal justice process. For instance, I don't fault the dog's owners for thier emotional expression of outrage. They also feel the need to do something to move matters along, and this isn't the first instance when a little public pressure keeps the police from moving the file across the desk all the way to the waste basket.

The family that has been the focus of the innuendo, if not accusation, shouldn't be villified in the primary local means of communication, but their denials have been set forth in detail, so I don't think the public is confused about that.

And I don't see how the comments will emasculate the prosecution if one is brought. Sorry Mr. Natural, just don't get that one.

Here we have a blood trail from someone's residence back toward the home of the dog. It seems like the burden of proof socially has shifted to require explanation of that. Imagining the times in the 1800s when Mark Twain said it, this quote is pretty funny: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, like when you find a trout in the milk."

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ftpheide 3 years, 9 months ago

Weststmbtres, Your correct- I should have stated that differently. Luckly, I'm not a party in this legal situation. My comment will not affect the case. If you want to have it removed - do it. I won't be offended and thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 9 months ago

I have no problem with your post. Sep took issue a day earlier with accuations being made and Guerilla, the Arnone's and a whole slew of others who did make had their posts removed.

I was just askign Sep why he had changed his tune. That's all.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 9 months ago

Meant to say "who did make accusations had their posts removed"

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