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Ownership of Land Where Man Shot Bear is Under Investigation

MDC is working to definitively determine that the wooded area off Albany Ave. where a man shot at a bear that attacked his dog Monday morning is actually their property.

The Metropolitan District Commission is conducting a detailed survey of the area where a to determine if it is actually their property, MDC spokesperson Kerry Martin said Tuesday afternoon.

"We believe it is our land but are doing a property survey today," Martin said. "The property lines there are not marked to the 'T' and since there are potentially actions against a person, we want to be sure."

West Hartford resident Dan Sweeney, 29, of 25 Harwich Lane, was walking his 6-year-old schnauzer and another dog in a wooded area south of Albany Ave. and west of Old Stone Crossing early Monday morning. The property is across Albany Ave. from the MDC Reservoir #6.

Police said the schnauzer was not leashed when it began being attacked by a bear. According to the police report, Sweeney stated that he fired his handgun several times at the bear in an attempt to save his dog. Sweeney also stated that the bear ran off into the woods at which time he was able to retrieve his injured dog and bring it to the VCA Avon Emergency Animal Hospital.

Police found evidence of blood at the scene, but believe it was from the dog. West Hartford Police said that there is no evidence that any of the eight shots reportedly fired actually hit the bear.

The schnauzer, which shows evidence of having been clawed by the bear in the above photograph, is expected to recover.

West Hartford Police say they believe that the land is MDC property, and are no longer investigating. However, Martin said the final results of the survey would not likely be available until Wednesday morning.

The MDC, as well as West Hartford Police, can issue a summons to any individual who violates an ordinance. In this case, carrying and discharging a firearm on MDC property, and allowing a dog to be off leash, all are violations of stated rules.

No decision has yet been made about whether any charges will be filed against Sweeney. Martin said the case is still being investigated and there are no conclusions at this time.

Ron White July 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Bear pepper spray Available at online and REI West Hartford
Wyatt July 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This guy seems like he lacks all sorts of personal responsibility. First having your dog off-leash may be a violation of the property owner's rule (so much for respecting property rights), is dangerous for the dog, and is a nuissance to others who may be using the property. Second, discharging a handgun that many times, in an area where there are often other people at that time of morning (hikers, birders, bikers, runners, dog walkers, etc.) is extremely irresponsible. It's a miracle that no one one hurt or even killed.
Anne July 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I agree completely with you Wyatt. I am not opposed to people owning guns but shooting it off in a place that is as popular as the reservoir is, is completely irresponsible. And no matter who owns the property he should be charged with reckless use of a weapon.
Karen's Dog Training Blog July 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Sadly the dog died

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