BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A Bellingham couple is overwhelmed by the support they’ve received after their dog was shot and killed in their backyard, allegedly by a neighbor upset at barking in the area.
Thousands of people have reached out to them online on the 'Justice for Molly' Facebook page.
“To envision it still is hard,” an emotional Cary Chunyk said of the events of Sept. 13.
He said Monday that Molly, his 13-month-old corgi, was in the backyard of his Bellingham home on that Saturday night when a neighbor who he’d never seen before came up and shot her point-blank with a rifle.
“I just heard this little pop and Molly just screamed.”
According to court documents, police said the neighbor, David Latham, admitted to officers that he shot the dog because there had been constant barking in the neighborhood.
Chunyk said it was a different animal who had been making the noise.
“It wasn’t even (Molly) the dog barking.”
Since news of Molly’s death started spreading, Chunyk has been receiving cards and flowers from around the country.
“It’s unbelievable, you can’t even fathom what’s happened.”
On Monday night, he and his wife met Josie Rhoads on Skype.
Rhoads lives in Texas, but she’s one of the corgi lovers who helped put together the ‘Justice for Molly’ Facebook page. There are now more than 12,000 followers.
“We thought we were in this fight alone,” said Chunyk. “We found out that there are thousands, if not more, people out there who feel exactly the same way we do.”
They’ve been calling and writing the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office, saying the person who killed Molly should face the strictest punishment possible.
“Pets are family, they’re not just a possession or object. It’s not like he shot my car.”
Chunyk said Latham may only face a few years in prison, if convicted. But he wants the laws changed, so these types of crimes are taken more seriously in the future. He said that’s the only thing that could be justice for Molly.
“The penalty at the end, the max penalty, needs to be tenfold as far as I’m concerned,” he said.