Woman's pit bull shot in ongoing neighbor dispute

DRYDEN TOWNSHIP, MI (FOX 2 WJBK)- A neighborhood dispute in Lapeer County's Dryden Township involves injured dogs and vandalism.

Renee Romans Gange says her neighbor shot her pit bull named Jerry at point-blank range Sunday. The dog is doing okay, but the man suspected of shooting the dog has done it before - has not been arrested - and it's unclear if he'll face charges.

"When I turned around, I saw my neighbor with a gun and I saw him pull the trigger and shoot my dog in the head," she said. "I screamed, 'No!' He said, 'They were attacking me,' but there was no attack. They were sitting."

Dryden Police Sgt. Shawn Peters says that Jerry and another dog came onto the man's property and went after him.

"There's some indication that there was a shot fired," Peters said. "One of the dogs [was] hit as a result. He claims he was in fear."

But Renee contends her dogs are peaceful, and her 66-year-old next door neighbor is trigger happy.

William Scheel says that same neighbor has taken aim at other dogs, including his German pointer, Rusty.

"Shattered the femur; there's about an eight-inch scar right along there," Scheel said.

That was two years ago when Renee says it was not the first time.

"When he fired the weapon last time and missed my dog and the bullet almost hit my husband, nothing was done at that point either," she says.

"We've gathered information from everybody that we possibly can," Peters said. "The weapons involved are at our department ... and we're going from there."

Dryden Township police confiscated at least two of the man's guns.

Police say he hasn't been home since Sunday's shooting. Tension between he and neighbors is now at all-time high.

Someone tagged his garage and shed, calling him a dog shooter, scum bag and coward. Needless to say, they want him gone.

"The bottom line is as a dog owner, it's your responsibility to keep your dog on your property," Peters said.

"My dogs were on my property," Renee said. "My dogs were coaxed off of my property and they weren't in his yard and they weren't on his property. This road is a public easement. We don't have sidewalks here; we're in the country."

The Lapeer County prosecutor has the case now. A charging decision has not been made, but the owners of the pit bull that was shot plan on meeting with the prosecutor Thursday.

Police are now trying to figure out how spraypainted that house.