Police chief of Catron, MO charged with animal abuse

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The chief of the Catron Police Department faces a charge of animal abuse for allegedly shooting a dog.

According to court documents, Captain Chris Hensley with the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department responded to Green Point Ag in Catron on July 27 after a tip that Chief Lance Walker shot a dog.

An employee at the business said Walker showed up at the business on Wednesday, July 26, and asked if she'd seen the dog and claimed that it was vicious and rabid. She told Hensley that Walker claimed to have shot at the dog four times and likely hit it twice.

The employee went on to say that a short time later she noticed a patrol car parked near the chemical warehouse and that some Green Point Ag employees were standing in the entrance. She said she saw Walker holding a rifle standing with two other people. One of the men hit the dog with a pipe and that's when the other employees told Walker and the men with him to leave, according to the probable cause report.

An investigator from the Humane Society of Missouri, Mike Little, responded to a home adjacent to the Green Point Ag property later that afternoon. That's where Little reportedly found a small male black Labrador with an apparent gunshot wound to the shoulder and a large mass behind one of his legs. The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Missouri's veterinarian for treatment.

During an interview with Walker on Friday, July 28, Captain Hensley wrote that Walker claimed to have taken the dog to an 'anonymous veterinarian in Dexter' on July 24. He claimed the dog was aggressive and that he 'wanted it out of the town.' He reportedly claimed he didn't know what happened to the dog after he took it to the vet.

Hensley wrote that Walker changed his story after a brief conversation. When asked where he dropped the dog off to shoot it, Hensley wrote that Walker gave him directions and claimed that the dog tried to crawl up his leg and that's why he said he tried to shoot the dog.

The manager of Green Point Ag contacted the sheriff's department on Aug. 9 and said that Walker pulled him over and said that he and the Green Point Ag employees would "no longer receive any preferential treatment." Hensley said the manager told him that Walker told him that "if they drive one mile over the speed limit, they will be stopped and ticketed."

Walker faces a misdemeanor charge of animal abuse. He is due in court for arraignment on Sept. 25.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.