Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies: Hudson man shot dog for coming onto his property

HUDSON — On a Thursday afternoon last month while the kids were at school, Hunter and Bella slipped through the fence around their owner's yard.

The dogs went poking through the woods and into a neighborhood the next street over. At some point Feb. 27, deputies say, Hunter, the 2-year-old black Labrador crossed the property line at 14320 Thompson Ave.

One hundred and forty-five feet up the driveway, according to a Pasco sheriff's report, Hugh Matthew Schnacky stood on the other side of a gate, leveled a .22-caliber rifle at the dog and fired. A neighbor heard the gunshot and watched as Hunter wilted to the ground.

Bella came back to her own home. When Randall Patsches opened the door, she darted under a coffee table, shaking. Hunter was missing. He knew something was wrong.

When Patsches' 12-year-old son, Sam, came home, they went out to look for the dog. As they drove down Thompson Avenue, a woman stopped them and told them what happened.

Patsches said he confronted Schnacky and asked him why he shot Hunter. Schnacky would only say the dog was on his property, according to Patsches. He asked Schnacky what he did with the body. Schnacky said he loaded the dead dog into a pickup truck and dropped it in a Dumpster at the end of the road. When Patsches and his son went to look, the Dumpster's contents had already been collected.

After hearing from witnesses and speaking with Patsches, deputies on Sunday went to Schnacky's home and arrested him on a charge of animal cruelty. He was released a few hours later on $5,000 bail. Records show this is his only arrest in Florida.

A man who answered the phone at the listed number for Schnacky said he wasn't there, then hung up.

With no body to bury, the Patscheses have not put up a monument for Hunter. Sam asked his father to make a collage of pictures of the dog remembered as docile, timid and "a lover." Snapshots show Hunter, then a big-footed puppy, exploring the view from a porch, sitting at attention on the arm of a sofa and lounging next to Sam. Patsches remembers Hunter could fit in the palm of his hand when the family first brought him home from the shelter.

"Bella always kept him going, playing, bugging him. He liked to stay outside and lay and sit in the sun," Sam said. "And now he's in heaven. Having fun."

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Alex Orlando can be reached at aorlando@tampabay.com.

Deputies: Hudson man shot dog for coming onto his property 03/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 8:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, current and former officials said, according to the Washington Post.

    After President Donald Trump fired James Comey, shown here, as FBI director, the Washington Post is reporting, Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
  2. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  3. Romano: Time is up chief, make a call on police body cameras

    Crime

    Excuse me chief, but it's time to take a stand.

    St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway
  4. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.