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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2006
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Pinhook couple, beagles are lost without ‘Fat Boy’
Owners fear missing dog shot by neighbor

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com· 340-2438

MOULTON — Fat Boy is missing.

And his owners, Mark and Juanita Allen of the Pinhook community near here, fear a neighbor may have shot him.

Fat Boy, tan and white, is a 4-year-old beagle born at the Allen residence at 292 Lawrence County 192. He is one of a dozen beagles that Juanita Allen said roam the yard.

“We don’t keep them penned, but they stay at home. They never go anywhere,” she said.

Allen recalls that on Dec. 10 while they were having lunch, she heard a gunshot and immediately rushed outside.

“I saw Jack and Fred in the field near our house, on our property, walking toward the house,” she said. “I accounted for all the other dogs. All except Fat Boy.”

Allen said she drove her pickup to a neighbor’s house and knocked several times on the front door. She said when no one answered, she went to the back and saw the neighbor on his tractor.

“I asked him if he had shot at my dogs. He said, ‘Yes,’ and he was real cocky about it,” Allen said. “I asked if he hit one and he said, ‘Yeah, I probably did.’ ”

Allen said she then asked him in which direction he shot so she could go there and look for Fat Boy. He said he shot “right into the field.”

Allen said Lawrence County Sheriff Bryan Hill told her there was nothing he could do because “it would be my word against his word. He also said that if the dogs did go onto his property and destroyed his property, attacked a person or did something to give him cause to shoot the animal, he would have that right.”

“Think about it,” Allen said. “These are beagles.”

Another thing that bothers Allen and brings her to tears is to think the neighbor might have burned Fat Boy.

“He was burning brush that day,” she said. “I went to the edge of our property with binoculars but couldn’t see anything.”

Allen said that Saturday, Lawrence County Deputy Gary Scoggin told her that if she could locate other neighbors who would testify they witnessed the neighbor shooting at the dogs, he could make an arrest.

Meanwhile, the Allens keep looking for Fat Boy.

“It’s not knowing that hurts so much,” she said.

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