MDC Says It Won’t Cite Dog Owner Who Shot At Bear

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A man who shot at a bear that was attacking his dog as he walked near a Hartford-area reservoir won’t be cited by the Metropolitan District Commission.

A lawyer for the regional water agency told the Hartford Courant (http://cour.at/LUmcrO) on Wednesday its investigation shows Dan Sweeney was not on MDC property. He could have faced citations for carrying a gun and having an unleashed dog on the agency’s land.

MDC assistant counsel Chris Stone says Sweeney’s dog, a 6-year-old schnauzer, has died. The bear retreated and hasn’t been found.

Sweeney told the Courant the loss of his dog, Kepler, is “tough.” He declined to talk in detail about the incident but said, “I was protecting myself.”

Stone said he’s not sure who owns the land, which is south of MDC Reservoir No. 6.

Sweeney and Kepler encountered the bear early Monday morning. Sweeney also had a second dog that was on a leash.

Police and state officials said Sweeney fired a handgun at the bear eight times. In Sweeney’s 911 call, he told police he had a Glock 19 handgun.

The bear retreated south toward other MDC reservoirs, but authorities never found it. Paul Rego of the state environmental agency’s wildlife division, said blood found is believed to be that of the injured dog, who was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic.

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Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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