Petitions call for Stubbs' firing; hundreds of local residents upset about shooting, burying of dogs

Friday, March 22, 2013
This Facebook page "Justice for Fritz and Egon" can be found at

BERRYVILLE -- Hundreds of people have rallied together in the last week to demand the immediate termination of Berryville animal control officer Chuck Stubbs, after he allegedly shot a dog and then tried to conceal the act from the animal's owners.

According to Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney, Stubbs shot the animal on March 11, after it and another dog attacked a goat owned by Vaughn Farmer. Farmer shot the second animal.

Deb and Darrin Hatfield, who owned both dogs, were never notified that their pets had been killed.

The dogs had escaped from their yard that morning, and the Hatfields continued to search for them for nearly a week after the shooting, during which time Stubbs told them repeatedly that he knew nothing of the dogs' whereabouts. He admitted to the killing only after Darrin Hatfield told him he had spoken with Farmer and another witness.

Hatfield said he dug the dogs' bodies up at the city pound, where Stubbs had buried them after the shooting. McKinney said it had been common practice to bury euthanized animals on the property before the pound became a no-kill facility.

When contacted by Carroll County News, McKinney said he regretted that the dogs had been shot, though he maintained that the shooting itself had been justified. He cited a state law that allows for the killing of animals when they attack livestock.

McKinney added that the city was not equipped with tranquilizing equipment, which requires costly licensing and certification, and that using a snare collar on the dog would not have been possible under the circumstances.

"Bottom line is if these people had been following the rules, none of this would have happened," McKinney said of the Hatfields.

Still, the mayor acknowledged that Stubbs should have notified the Hatfields after the killing. He guessed the officer had been trying to "avoid a confrontation."

"The way it was handled after the animals were killed was not good," he said. "It's been addressed, and it better not happen again on my watch."

The mayor said he had issued a warning to Stubbs, a copy of which was placed in his personnel file, and that future infractions would be grounds for "severe action."

However, some people have called for the city to do more -- much more. An online petition started by Berryville resident David Shupe calls for McKinney to fire Stubbs. It also demands better training for animal control officers in the city. As of Wednesday evening, the petition had garnered 564 supporters, some from as far away as Nevada.

Printed versions of the petition were also being circulated throughout the city. They are located at Diane's Grooming and Boarding 460 Hwy 21 North of Berryville, Beavertown Boarding 110 Squire Road in Eureka Springs, and also at Susan Morrison's Signature Gallery at 60 Spring St. in Eureka Springs.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page started by the Hatfields had vaulted to nearly 400 supporters in just a matter of days, and the couple announced on Facebook that they had arranged to meet with an animal law attorney to discuss the possibility of taking legal action against the city.

Stubbs could not be reached for comment by deadline, though the mayor said the animal control officer had been "hurt" by the backlash following the shooting. Some commentators on the Hatfields' Facebook page have called for Stubbs to be imprisoned, even shot.

Hatfield said it wasn't the fact that his dogs were killed that bothered him so much -- though he is grieving their loss. He said it was the way Stubbs handled the situation after pulling the trigger that upset him most.

"I don't fault anyone for shooting my dogs," he said, "but when the animal control officer lied to me repeatedly about where my dogs were and then took them out to the pound and threw them in a ditch and put dirt on them ..."

Hatfield said he suspected Stubbs had acted in the way he did out of spite. He said his dogs had gotten loose before and wandered into the Price Cutter grocery store. At that time, he said, Stubbs had told him, "You had better get your dogs before I do."

"The person running animal control should have compassion for an animal and its owner," Hatfield said, "and it's obvious that (Stubbs) had no respect for me or my wife to not tell us anything."

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  • I find it amazing at the people who are upset about this! If these dogs were attacking a goat how do we know that a child might have not been their next victim? Personally I'm not one who would want to take that chance! If the animal control officer hadnt did what he did and then a child was hurt by these same dogs in a few months people would be mad because be hadn't done enough! Some people will always find reason to gripe!

    -- Posted by gftiger on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 1:20 PM
  • Read the facts gftiger.

    He is a bad person, he threatened me and my dogs, while in my yard (5lb poodles).

    -- Posted by asdfman on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 5:06 PM
  • Humm, no sympathy for the poor goat. And yes, thank God this was not a child.

    Death threats against a human for shooting potentially dangerous animals. Yea, he lied. Probably to protect his own life.

    Owners who can't control their animals; and apparently tolerate death threats against another human on a Facebook page they created.

    The only thing missing is the sound of dueling banjos, you just can't make this crap up.

    Wonder if the dog owners apologized to the owner of the goat and make amends?

    Hey Dirty Harry, you got a case against the FB page owner and the threat makers.

    -- Posted by Atlas Shrugged on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 5:32 PM
  • Yes I personally went to the goat owners, Apologized and tried to make restitution. No I don't agree with any threats that have been aimed towards ANYONE

    -- Posted by Darrin Hatfield on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 7:09 PM
  • Good man.

    -- Posted by Atlas Shrugged on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 7:10 PM
  • It was bad enough shooting the dog and burying it, but he LIED about it.

    What kind of assurance does that instill in the residents of Berryville.

    -- Posted by Doodad on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 5:00 PM
  • Liars have no place in public service.

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 9:08 PM

    And here is more proof of the poor conditions of the old water treatment plant on Bunch Springs Road. What a disaster area!

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Sun, Mar 24, 2013, at 9:24 AM
  • -- Posted by Father on Sun, Mar 24, 2013, at 1:34 PM
  • I agree we dont need a liar for a aninal control officer to do what he did. And looking at the video the depth of hell just sickens me from what kinda of man he is.

    -- Posted by sapphirebabe1962 on Sun, Mar 24, 2013, at 2:02 PM
  • That youtube video is just further evidence that Chuck Stubbs has been up to no good for a long time.

    -- Posted by timetochange on Sun, Mar 24, 2013, at 7:36 PM
  • I pray that the city council will do what is right and remove Chuck Stubbs from his position. He blatantly lied and tried to cover his tracks. Yes, the owner of the goats had every right to protect his livestock and it is my understanding that the Hatfields have tried to make restitution for the damage done by Egon and Fritz. However, using Fritz for target practice when he was obviously trapped is inhumane. Is lying deceitful public officials what the city wants running the show? I think not. Stubbs has proven how much honesty and integrity he has. Get him out and put someone who is trained for such a position. Enough of the "good ol' boy" system.

    -- Posted by Fightingthegoodfight on Tue, Mar 26, 2013, at 9:42 AM
  • good words and i agree what fightingthegoodfight said.

    -- Posted by sapphirebabe1962 on Tue, Mar 26, 2013, at 1:15 PM
  • 20-19-102. Injuries to domesticated animals by dogs (2) Any person knowing that any dog has killed or is about to catch, injure, or kill any domesticated animal shall have the right to kill the dog, without in any way being liable to the owner of the dog in any courts of this state.

    Is this the statute the mayor was referring to on killing the dogs? It is my understanding the farmer killed the first dog for attacking his goat. The dog catcher killed the second dog AFTER the fact, so the dog had not killed and was not about to catch, injure, kill any animal, so the protection afforded in this statute would not apply to the dog catcher because the situation did not meet the requirements of the statute. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    -- Posted by nurse2patti on Tue, Mar 26, 2013, at 8:15 PM
  • Mayors quote "Stubbs shot the animal on March 11, AFTER it and another dog attacked a goat." The mayor said nothing of Stubbs firing multiple times at the dog as it was running back and forth in an enclosed pen trying to get away. Stubbs also said he shot him in self defense, but the killing shot was in the back of the head.

    -- Posted by Darrin Hatfield on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 7:55 AM
  • just sickening how a man as he is can still drive around in town.

    -- Posted by sapphirebabe1962 on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 9:58 AM
  • This is for the Face Book page created by Sue Drummond Templeton and the video creator Diane Ferguson she portrayed as The Depths of Hell. It's one thing to create a page to bring attention to a horrible situation, but it's quite another situation when the page becomes threats towards Chuck Stubbs.

    I thought it best served on this forum to reach more people and create thoughts.

    Where are the original owners ?, "of the depths of hell "that owned these animals, puppies that were not wanted ?..,but they still keep breeding them and they refuse to spay and neuter. Where were they ? How does it all fall on the city pound's shoulders? Depths of Hell really? Are you serious? If you think those kennels were need to check out the area puppy mill breeders. I'm just curious and I think this Face book page is bordering on hate and terroristic threatening. I read one post where they posted he should be shot like the 2 dogs. You are treading on thin ice, everything you post online or on Face book is there for everrrr people. I do not know the reasons why Stubbs did not tell the truth, but maybe he felt threaten or intimidated by Mr. Hatfield and from this face book page I can clearly see why. Maybe these dogs were problems before, you only tell one side of the story and there are so many variations of that, Who knows what the truth was . IMO A witch hunt and I have every name and every post that threatened Chuck Stubbs with violence. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. I do not know the man or am I related to him.

    Sue Drummond Templeton you speak about Our first Amendment Freedom of Expression and religion, yet you delete posts that shared different perspectives . Interesting.....

    I would like to see pictures where the Hatfields kept their shepherds, do they have a fenced in yard ? How many times have they gotten out before ?, and is this the first time they attacked cats and goats or dogs and other animals ?. Were their any other instances ? It would be easy to find out by calling local vets. Why did they not fix the fence or whatever the issues were ? And If they had done that they would still have them safe and sound today. And that is the sad part .The Berryville city pound is not like the local money Shelters or have the pet thrift shops backing them, bringing money in or doggy shows ,or supporting board members and several employees. And they euthanize, the city pound is funded by the city and taxpayers only.

    Most of the majority that have posted here are from other towns and counties. How do you know what is really going on in our county ? We humans domesticated dogs, It is our responsibility to take care of them. You have no empathy to the other side. When you get 2 dogs running together ,that is trouble then you add the fear from animals that are being threatened by these dogs, then the dogs smell that and hear their screams ,they get more excited, like in a blind frenzy...even the owner would have not been able to stop it without the risk of injury. They are lucky it wasn't a child. And it happens with all breeds. All it takes is the perfect storm. Maybe some good can come out of this by being a cautionary tale for all those that just let their dogs run loose, by being a better neighbor by respecting and caring about others children. property and pets or livestock.

    -- Posted by SillyFilly on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 11:29 AM
  • As a local, tax paying resident of Carroll County, I understand completely what is going on. Yes, the dogs were out and harming livestock and the owner had every right to protect what is his. No one, not even the dog's owners have denied those facts. This is where people get off topic...Chuck Stubbs lied. Chuck stubbs attempted to conceal the evidence, instead of informing the owners that their dogs had been shot. THAT is the point. His actions after the shootings are not justifiable. He has the mayor, who has far from a stellar track record backing him up with a verbal warning?!? Something stinks about this whole thing. I for one do not

    approve of our local city and/or county officials lying, being deceitful and shady. Stubbs should have been fired for those reasons...not because 2 dogs were shot. He failed miserably on this one. He is a disgrace to the city of Berryville.

    -- Posted by Fightingthegoodfight on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 9:55 PM
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