Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Woman says she shot dog to protect daughter, goats

By Eric Heisig, Daily Comet

Precious Ridenour loves animals.


Throughout her house and backyard, she has dogs, cats, birds, snakes and goats. For Ridenour, that’s what makes the charges against her hard to take.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Ridenour Sept. 4 and charged her with cruelty to animals and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The penalty for the felony cruelty charge is up to 10 years in prison, while the firearm charge carries up six months in jail.
Ridenour, 43, shot a dog she claims ran into her yard on Victor LeBouef Street and threatened her animals and, more importantly, her 7-year-old daughter, AprilMoon.
“I can get another goat, she can get another dog. You can’t get another one of her,” she said, pointing to her daughter.
According to Ridenour and witnesses, a dog ran into Ridenour’s back yard that Saturday and began to attack one of her five goats, which were tied up in different part of the yard, Ridenour said. After injuring one goat, the dog ran out of the yard before jumping a fence and returning, approaching Ridenour’s daughter. Ridenour shot the dog through the chest on her property with a pistol, she said.
“I always tell them (my kids), if you’re going to kill something, it had better be to eat it or for protection,” Ridenour said.
However, police and the dog’s owner said the animal was restrained when Ridenour fired the shot and didn’t pose a threat, claims Ridenour denies.
She says the dog’s owner, Mona Christensen of Arcement Street never got close to the dog to calm it down and take it out of the yard.
Christensen denies the dog, named Sarah, attacked the goats. Despite police reports that identified the dog as a pit bull, Sarah was a boxer-shar pei mix, she said.
“Sarah wasn’t a dog to run around the neighborhood,” said Christensen, who lives about two blocks away from Ridenour. “And she never touched those goats.”
Christensen said her dog ran into Ridenour’s yard, but she was able to grab it by the harness. She said while she was holding the harness, Ridenour fired. Christensen was not ticketed for failing to restrain the dog.
“People are saying, ‘Oh, poor Precious, she shouldn’t have gone to
jail,’ ” Christensen said. “Well, what about my dog?”
Kim Faciane, Ridenour’s neighbor, called Christensen’s account a “bald-faced lie.”
“She did not have it by the harness,” Faciane said.
Ridenour maintains that before she was arrested, the Sheriff’s Office failed to interview anybody else who witnessed the shooting. Following her release, she says she collected statements from witnesses supporting her claims that she fired to defend her daughter.
Maj. Malcolm Wolfe, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the investigating deputy collected statements from witnesses.
“The deputy did nothing wrong,” Wolfe said. “He made a legal arrest; the dog was under the control of the owner at the time the suspect shot the dog.”
Still, with all of the first-hand accounts, police reports and counter arguments, Ridenour said she is still sure what she saw and did was right. To her, she was just being protective, and not acting out of any malice.
“I’ve seen the dog shake my goat,” Ridenour said. “It was looking to do it to my daughter. It’s limping; what would it have done to my daughter?”

Update December 21, 2010 12:07pm - The following article is by Eric Heisig, Daily Comet:
 
Dog-shooting trial postponed

 The trial of a Montegut woman who shot and killed a dog that ran into her yard was continued Monday due to new evidence and reports, much to the dismay of the accused.
Precious Ridenour, 43, is charged with cruelty to animals and unlawful discharge of a firearm after the September shooting. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail. Ridenour's new trial date is Feb. 14.
The trial was continued because both the District Attorney's Office and Ridenour's attorney, Amanda Mustin, received more photographs, witness statements and subsequent police reports. The arresting officer, Thomas Lewis of the Terrebonne Sheriff's Office, turned over the reports.
According to Ridenour and witnesses, a dog ran into Ridenour's backyard that Saturday and began to attack one of her five goats, which were tied up in different part of the yard, Ridenour said. After injuring one goat, the dog ran out of the yard before jumping a fence and returning, approaching Ridenour's daughter. Ridenour shot the dog through the chest on her property with a pistol, she said.
However, police and the dog's owner said the animal was restrained when Ridenour fired the shot and didn't pose a threat, claims Ridenour denies.
She says the dog's owner, Mona Christensen of Arcement Street, never got close to the dog to calm it down and take it out of the yard.
Christensen denies the dog, named Sarah, attacked the goats. Despite police reports that identified the dog as a pit bull, Sarah was a boxer-Shar Pei mix, she said.
Christensen said her dog ran into Ridenour's yard, but she was able to grab it by the harness. She said while she was holding the harness, Ridenour fired. Christensen was not ticketed for failing to restrain the dog.
On Monday, the trial began, with Christensen taking the stand. However, after a recess for lunch, both attorneys moved for a continuance in light of the new papers and evidence.
“It's very frustrating, but the best I've got to do is wait again,” Ridenour said.
Ridenour added that she doesn't know what new reports or evidence turned up, but she will the next time she meets with her attorney.
Christensen said while it is odd that the trial stopped after it had started, she is willing to wait to have the right verdict.
“It's good on Sarah's part,” Christensen said. “She gets what she deserves. You don't go randomly shooting a dog. Let it continue, let it go to trial, Justice will be served.”


No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments and questions.
Be advised that comments are moderated. Not for views, but for content.
Profanity, personal attacks, and spam within comments will result in your comment being rejected.
I, personally, love Pit Bulls as well as all dogs and most animals.
If your comment differs from my feelings or opinions, I will post it anyway, providing it does not include any of the three exceptions listed above.
Same goes for comments that are in harmony with my opinions.
Thank you for participating.