ANCHORAGE — Police in a small southeast Alaska town are investigating arrow attacks that killed one dog and wounded another in a neighborhood where three other dogs went missing last fall.
Haines police initially offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the shooter of the 30-inch arrows. The reward has since grown to almost $800 as outraged residents in the community of 1,800 donate their own funds.
“People are very upset about it,” Haines Borough Police Chief Gary Lowe said. “I think more than anything, there’s just kind of a fear that it is a psychopath.”
Or likely, Lowe said, it’s the work of someone who rationalized last week’s shootings as defense of property.
Shannon Thompson, who owns the dogs with her boyfriend, suspects both —an unbalanced person who doesn’t like stray dogs on personal property. She thinks she knows who it is. Lowe said police have narrowed their investigation to two people of interest who would have acted alone.
Thompson wants the culprit to know: “They took something very special from us.”
She had let her three dogs out after she woke up Jan. 15.
She was changing her newborn son a while later and happened to look up. There was Maple, a lab and rat terrier mix, yelping and screaming, an arrow sticking out of her head. Smurf — a 3-year-old lab and Newfoundland mix that is Maple’s father — was unharmed. But 9-year-old Foxy was nowhere to be seen.
Thompson called her boyfriend, Jeremiah Kinison, who came home and removed the arrow, which did not pierce the skull. Haines has no veterinarian, so the couple had to put Maple on a flight to Juneau 80 miles to the southeast where she was treated.
Foxy, a boxer-dachshund mix, remained missing the whole day despite Thompson’s calls and whistles. The next day around noon, Foxy showed up on the porch with an arrow still stuck from her back through her chest. The distressed dog had partially chewed off the arrow.
Thompson called Kinison, who was picking up Maple after she returned from Juneau. Again, another flight to Juneau, this time with a dog with a punctured lung and an arrow still stuck in her.
Foxy died in surgery.
“I bawled like she was my mother that passed away,” Thompson said. “I’ve known her since she was a puppy.”
Steve Vick, executive director of the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel, said three other dogs disappeared in the same area some months back. People are making the connection between those cases and the arrow attacks, even if there is no evidence showing a link.
The impact of the arrow shootings on the small town is palpable. People are shaken up over the horrific treatment of the dogs, for one thing, Vick said.
“But I think people thought further into that, thinking that there’s someone in our community who’s capable of doing this,” he said. “People wonder, then, what else is this person capable of doing.”