Two-year-old pitbull Koda limps around now, afraid of most strangers and shaken when she walks to the backyard. You can see the marks the bullets made Saturday night. Maria Ochs’ other dog, Pepper, is dead.
Ochs expressed her frustration with police and neighbors who she said aren’t listening to her side of the story.
“We're hitting a wall. I don't know how this is going to work out,” Ochs said.
Ochs claimed her dogs were chasing a squirrel into her neighbor’s yard and were heading back to Ochs’ yard when he shot them from his garage.
Janesville Police were called to the 1400 block of Sharon Street shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday. They confirmed one dog died on the scene and another was injured.
Lt. Keith Lawver with the Janesville Police Department said Ochs’ next door neighbor, Brandon Steinke, was in his right to shoot the dogs. Investigators determined six shots were fired from a 380 pistol Steinke had on him at the time.
Steinke told police he was cornered by the dogs and shot in self defense.
“He was in fear that he was going to be injured by these dogs. And we have no information to refute that that is exactly what happened,” Lawver said. “And under those circumstances, he is allowed to shoot the dog.”
Lawver said it is unlikely Ochs or Steinke will face charges as a result of this situation. The police department does have Steinke’s handgun at this time, but Lawver said he legally possessed the weapon.
Steinke was not home when News 3 knocked on his door.
Brett Frazier, director of the Rock County Humane Society, encourages dog owners to get to know their neighbors and to get neighbors acclimated to their dogs. He said this could happen to any dog, no matter what the breed.
“I have a hard time believing if any breed of dog had come around that corner and come into this situation that we wouldn't be talking about a similar outcome,” Frazier said.
Ochs said her dogs are not usually on a leash in her backyard, but insisted her animals are very obedient and respond well to voice commands and shock collars.
Now, Ochs said between vet bills and taking off work to deal with the situation, her finances are drained. After moving into her new home just three weeks ago, Ochs said she might have no choice but to leave.
“We're getting slandered like no tomorrow,” Ochs said.
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