Two family pets were brought to a neighborhood dog park on a summer evening in Severn, and the owner of one dog shot the other dog, producing outrage from animal advocates, and then, two weeks later, criminal charges against the shooter.
Everything else is in dispute in the emotional case that left a Siberian husky named Bear-Bear so severely injured the dog was euthanized.
The differing accounts of what happened at the Quail Run community’s dog park are scheduled to be aired Friday in an Annapolis courtroom.
A judge is to decide if Keith Elgin Shepherd, 32, is guilty of animal cruelty and firing his gun near homes, or if the shooting of the husky owned by Ryan and Rachel Rettaliata was justified.
Shepherd’s lawyer said he was protecting himself, his wife and pet, a German shepherd named Asia.
Since the Aug. 2 shooting, the Rettaliatas have adopted two huskies, a brother and sister they named Chief and Spirit.
“To be honest, the boy looks like Bear-Bear,” Ryan Rettaliata said. The dogs romp twice a day in the same park where Bear-Bear was shot â€” and where a plaque memorializing Bear-Bear will be placed, he said.
“I am defiant in the fact that I will not allow this to change my life in any way. I will not leave the dog park.”