Bellingham man arrested in fatal shooting of dog

BELLINGHAM — A Bellingham man fed up with barking fatally shot his neighbors’ dog in front of them. But the corgi apparently wasn’t the one barking, authorities said.

Now David William Latham, 55, faces charges of felony animal cruelty, among others. His attorney, Adrian Madrone, said his client feels terrible, The Bellingham Herald reported.

“I know Mr. Latham feels terrible about this situation,” Madrone said. “This is a very serious case that he’s going to be taking very seriously moving forward.”

According to authorities, Loyce Andrews and her husband, Cary Chunyk, had just finished feeding their two dogs, Molly and Kirby, when Latham walked across the street to their back yard fence, aimed over the fence and shot Molly in front of Chunyk, who had lingered in the yard to enjoy a nice summer evening.

Chunyk ran after Latham and shouted: “You just shot my dog!”

But Andrews’ husband backed off, she said, when Latham stopped to brandish the rifle at him. Meanwhile Molly, a 13-month-old corgi, bled to death on the lawn for the next half-hour.

“He was very cooperative with officers,” Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said. “I don’t know what caused him to snap. But something made him go over the edge, beyond reason.”

Other neighbors heard a large dog barking and whining wildly, at a home next door to where Molly had been shot, for two more hours after the shooting.

“He said to the cops, ‘Oh my God, I shot the wrong dog,’” Andrews said. “As if there’s a right dog.”

Latham has no criminal history. He worked as a loan officer and an assistant vice president at Banner Bank until October 2009. He also served as president of the Bellingham Association of Credit Management, according to a Bellingham Business Journal article. In court Monday, his attorney said he still works in banking.

Bail for Latham was set at $20,000.

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