PARMA, Idaho — Editor's Note: This article was originally published by the Idaho Press.
Ruby, the Maltese-Yorkie, or “morkie”, was just a little lap dog at seven pounds, the dog's owner Luther Pugh said.
Pugh and his fiancée, Hailey Constantine, have had Ruby for 11 years and they have lived in the Parma area for three years.
“She was a barker, as most little dogs are,” Pugh said. “Pretty smart, she was good around the kids, just a pretty loveable little dog … she was easy and loving.”
On Tuesday morning, Pugh was at work. At their home near Parma, Constantine heard the dog barking outside followed by a gunshot, Pugh said. A lot of their neighbors farm on dozens of acres, Pugh said, and the dogs will roam right outside of the few acres the family lives on.
In this instance, Ruby was on the neighbor’s property, allegedly staring at the neighbor and barking, Pugh said.
After hearing the gunshot, Constantine ran outside and called for the dog, Pugh said.
“My fiancée had called her dad because he was just 10 minutes away,” he said. “They had a relationship (with the neighbor) … her parents used to live where we live … Her father and the neighbor … had some words and (the neighbor) kind of just pointed off in the general direction (of Ruby). He’d mentioned something that if the other dogs come onto his property, he’d do the same thing.”
“We called the police,” Pugh said. “They … said the dog was on his property, so that’s that. (They) told me that If I don’t keep my dogs on property, that the guy could call the cops on me and give me tickets, which I guess makes sense, but just not really the outcome I guess I’d thought.”
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office verified that it had a report of the incident. The Idaho Press filed a records request for the report but hadn't received it by the time of publication.
The family owns two other dogs: Maynard, an Australian German Shepherd mix, and Sonny, a Chiweenie.
The veterinarian told him there were BBs in Ruby’s back, skull, face, neck and legs, Pugh said. They had to euthanize her.
Before Tuesday's shooting Pugh said he had talked with the neighbor a “handful of times” about the dogs, and said about two years ago the neighbor had said the couple's dogs would bark on his property.
Pugh said he had to explain to his three crying kids what happened to the dog they’ve known their whole lives. He said was the hardest part.
“My fiancée … it was mainly her dog. She was a lot more tore up about it than the rest of us,” Pugh said. “When I’m talking about that dog sitting on laps, it’s mostly her lap. And going on walks, it was mostly the mom taking her for walks.”