FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) – A Franklin County couple is heartbroken after their neighbor shot and killed their puppy. But the neighbor claims he had to do it.
It happened in Labadie, Missouri.
The neighbor isn't facing charges, but the puppy's owners are making sure he faces consequences.
The first sign of a serious neighbor feud comes before you even enter the small, rural community. There's a sign tacked on a tree stating "Beware Dog Killer." Below that, there is a man's name, address and phone number.
There's another sign in Niki Fox's lawn. It reads, "Puppy Killer," with an arrow pointing to the same man's house.
"I don't want him to think that this is acceptable," said Fox.
There's no disputing, the man across the street from Fox killed her 9-month old puppy, Earl. It's the motivation that's muddled.
Last weekend, Fox says her boyfriend let the dachshund, black lab mix out to go to do his business.
"The 30 seconds it took for him to walk upstairs, we heard gun shots," Fox said.
Outside, the couple said they saw the neighbor standing in his own driveway with a shotgun.
"(He) threatened my boyfriend with the gun and told him not to come any closer, that he'd just shot our dog," she said.
The neighbor isn't charged and didn't answer the phone or the door, so we're not releasing his name. But a police report states the dog came on the neighbor's property and that the man felt threatened.
"I just feel like that's a lie," said Fox.
The neighbor wasn't charged because according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the man has a right to shoot a dog on his property if he feels threatened.
So Fox, who believes she deserves justice, does what she can. She doesn't know who's responsible for the tree posting, but she says word spreads fast in the neighborhood. But she does lay claim to the sign on her lawn.
"I don't know how he can expect to do something like that and us sit by quietly," she said.
The neighbors live in the country, so there are no leash laws.
Fox says there was no history between them. She says the neighbor had never complained about the dog.
The police report shows the man denied pointing his shotgun at Fox's boyfriend.