Union Valley firefighter removed after media post showing killed dogs
Note: This article has been edited since its first posting.
The Union Valley Fire Department has dismissed one of its firefighters following a social media post showing dogs that he claimed to have shot.
The Greenville Herald-Banner reports that the post appeared on Tim Conaster’s Facebook page on Feb. 24.
"Somebody didn't put any truth my warning," said text appearing with a picture of two apparently dead dogs, with blood visible near one dog. "Keep your damn dogs on your property."
The Union Valley Fire Department said they do not condone the actions and they are removing the firefighter, the Herald-Banner reports.
"As previously stated, we do not condone the recent actions of one of our firefighters," Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department said on their Facebook page. "We are following our policy in removing him from our department. This is now a civil/criminal matter that we have no jurisdiction over. Please forward all concerns to local law enforcement and/or the SPCA."
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said that a person has the right to use force, including lethal force, if an animal on one's property presents a possible danger to property, animals or people.
Regarding the responsibility of animal owners, Hunt County has no law requiring owners to keep pets confined, Meeks said. Leash laws exist in Greenville and Commerce, but not in unincorporated areas, Meeks said.
If someone shoots an animal that was not presenting a possible danger, that person could be charged with animal cruelty, Meeks said.
"I don't know why people post things on social media, but they do," Meeks said.
On the afternoon of Feb. 26, Hunt County Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Jones and Maura Davies of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas confirmed that there is an active investigation of the incident. Jones said that once the investigation is complete, the findings will be submitted to the Hunt County Attorney, which will decide whether or not a prosecution is called for.