Death by Pellet Gun

The sad, tragic, and questionable death of Salma Hayek’s beloved dog has ended without charges filed against the shooter. Last week, on February 19th, Hayek’s nine-year-old dog, Mozart, was found dead at her Washington state ranch. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office investigated the death of Mozart after he was discovered shot to death on Hayek’s ranch. Hayek gives a touching remark in an Instagram post sharing, “this wonderful dog whom in 9 years never bit or attacked anyone. He loved his territory and never strayed away…he was the most loving and loyal companion. He didn’t deserve a slow and painful death.”

Reports state that Deputy Lt. Cliff Ziesemer said a groundskeeper was riding a horse around Hayek’s property with two dogs when one of the dogs started barking and ran down a trail. When the groundskeeper searched for the dog she found him shot and killed on Hayek’s property. It was determined that Mozart was shot by a pellet gun and bled to death. Hayek went to Instagram to mourn her loss and share her story with her fans. A link to Hayek’s Instagram page can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BCQ4sG2MFi_/?taken-by=salmahayek

Hayek’s neighbor confessed to shooting Mozart, but there were extenuating circumstances. The neighbor told police he was sick of her dogs coming onto his property and attacking his dogs, which he says happened every time Salma’s caretaker took the pets for a walk. The neighbor went on to tell cops that on the day in question, several of Hayek’s dogs were in his garage. The neighbor used a pellet gun to scare the animals away, and had no intention of killing any of the animals. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says Hayek’s neighbor was justified in shooting Mozart because as the neighbor claims, he only meant to scare the dogs off of his property, he continues to insist Hayek’s dogs attacked his dogs every time they were taken for a walk by the caretaker, and normally a pellet gun would not cause death in an animal. A veterinarian reported that Mozart died from a pellet that nicked an artery causing slow, internal bleeding.

Chapter 16.08 RCW of the Washington State Legislature defines liabilities of dog owners, dangerous dogs, and defenses. It seems as though before this incident there had been no bites or attacks by Hayek’s dog. The neighbor did report that the dog had wandered onto his property before and barked at his pets, but without more information it is difficult to determine whether Hayek would be able to pursue any damages from the loss of her beloved pet. The incident at hand will likely remain  a sad story of an accidental death of a loved dog.

 

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