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Army sergeant convicted of shooting dog

Army Special Forces Sgt. Justin Noyes Blehar won’t serve jail time for shooting his neighbor’s dog earlier this year.

Blehar, 32, was charged with felony animal abuse, but the jury convicted him of misdemeanor animal abuse and shooting in a prohibited area after a three-day jury trial in Stafford County Circuit Court in Virginia, Fredericksburg.com reported.

According to prosecutors, Blehar shot a brown Labrador retriever that came into his yard on March 31. The dog lived with a family two houses away and repeatedly had gotten loose in the neighborhood. On March 8, Blehar’s wife called animal control after the dogs confronted her in her yard, and Blehar asked animal control officers if he could shoot the dog if it came back into his yard. He was told no, unless it was in self-defense.

On March 31 the dogs came into his yard again. He chased them away once, but they returned. Blehar said Zu Zu, the more aggressive of the two dogs, came at him and he felt threatened. He shot the dog twice with his Glock 9 mm weapon.

Prosecutors argued that Blehar was annoyed with the dog, not scared of it.

The jury recommended that Blehar pay a total of $1,146 in fines. The judge withheld the imposition of the jury verdict at the request of defense attorney, who requested time to file additional motions, including one to overturn the jury decision.


Comment from Jennifer
Time October 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm

I can’t believe this sicko didn’t have to do time for killing Zuzu!!!

Comment from Dog Lover
Time November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I can’t believe ZuZU died either. This could have easily been avoided.

Maybe the dog’s owners could have kept the dog on a leash if it continued to escape their yard.

The Soldier simply saved his own life by putting down the dog which had continued to threaten his family.

This wasn’t a case of “good dog” gets shot for no reason.

This animal continued to pursue the soldier and he used limited force to keep the animal away. When that failed, he then protected himself from a vicious animal who’s owners COULD NOT CONTROL IT. The owners were notified by other neighbors that the dog had been canvassing the area for something to attack.

This was not the first time the dog got loose and attempted to harass and bite the neighbors in the “safety” of their own yards.

Blame the dog or the dogs owners, not the courageous Army Soldier.

That was not the first time that dog threatened someone. But thankfully, it was the last.

Comment from Claire
Time December 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Justin Noyes Blehar. Is this the one i know from the Philippines. If you read this, can u please contact me? I was shocked when i read thin news. Claire