SSS...and then bury it deeper? Did anyone see this??


Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Dover, TN

owner fatally shoots dog in Wilson Co.

Posted: Jun 07, 2010 4:17 PM

Dan McChurch

William Belate
LEBANON, Tenn. – Legal proceedings might be looming for two Wilson County families after a beloved pet was shot and killed.

The incident happened on May 29 and resulted in the death of Dan McChurch's five-year-old German shorthair, Rocky.

According to McChurch, Rocky got loose and was shot and killed by William Belate.

Belate lives nearby and told authorities he shot the dog after he attacked and killed his chickens.

McChurch tried to press charges but the Wilson County judicial commissioner refused because Belate claims the dog attacked livestock, and under the law, that is a reasonable defense.

According to the incident report filed with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department, Rocky broke through his electric fence and made his way to Belate's property on Tyree Access Road, off Highway 109 North.

The next day, McChurch's 27-year-old son, Tyler, found Rocky buried in a shallow grave across from Belate's home.

The dog had reportedly been shot three times.

The sheriff's report indicates that after Tyler McChurch found the gravesite, he and Belate got into a physical altercation.

The report also indicates the younger McChurch pushed Belate, who then struck him with pliers. The wound required two stitches.

Belate told deputies he shot the dog after the animal killed his chickens.

Tennessee law states that if a dog kills or damages any livestock, the owner of the dog shall be liable.

The law also states that killing or injuring the dog for such action is a reasonable defense as long as the livestock owner can show "satisfactory proof" of that attack.

The law, according to McChurch, does nothing to protect pets.

"I understand a coyote but this dog had a collar and a receiver," he said. "He shot someone's pet at expense of some chickens. He had other options. He could have called the sheriff. He could have shot in the air. Rocky was shot in the street."

Belate said while it is unfortunate things ended as they did, he saw the Rocky attack his chickens and did what he had to do.

"I feel sorry for their loss, however I have to protect my property, what is mine," he said. "The sooner they accept that the better off it will be. As far as I am concerned, it is done."

When asked how the dog got buried in his yard, Belate replied, "That is the weirdest thing." He said a girl from another nearby home came with a shovel and buried the dog.

McChurch said he plans to files a civil suit.

In the meantime, Belate said he filed a police report after someone slashed his wife's tires.

McChurch said his family had nothing to do with that.


Super Chick
11 Years
Feb 9, 2008
Central Michigan
I hope Belate also files suit then, since he has the law on his side. I am sorry this dog had to die, but his owner should have kept him home, plain and simple and I have no doubt he slashed the tires or one of his friends did.


9 Years
May 15, 2010
DLP...Defense of Life or Property...that dog had NO BUSINESS in someone elses yard...I don't care if it had a colloar on it or not...& if it were an expensive dog (GSP's are) I'd take EXTRA percautions to see to it that the dog is properly trained to STAY. & "Some chickens" is just a write off, as chickens can lay what...300 eggs a year, & a dog can kill 10-20 in a sitting? that's upto 6000 eggs right there! Here in the bush of Alaska 1 doz eggs costs $6, so 6000 eggs for me would be $3000! So hell yeah, I am gunna shot a dog! Not that I want to, but between feeding my family & lettin' a loose dog get his/her jollies? F that!


Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Dover, TN
"He shot someone's pet at expense of some chickens."

This is what killed me. So his dog's life has more value than Belate's chickens' lives?? My chickens are my pets too and you can best believe I would SSS the first dog that broke into my yard and attacked/killed them.​

The Wolf Queen

10 Years
May 2, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
I agree with the whole SSS thing but im sad that the dog had to die. To me unless I would have tried a BB gun first and give the owner the whole 2 strikes your out thing. Although I cant totally agree its the owners falt because as far as evidense shows he did have something set up to keep the dog in and he didnt know the dog could get through the fence. Either way under the circumstances I think both parties hsould chill although I DO agree that it was childish to slash the guy's tires.


Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
Western MA
I have to say that i would have spoken to the dog owner first....
then if it came back ... i would do what i had to do...
'Or... most likely i would just bring the dog to the pound and say it was killing animals... than they could put it down humanely...
I dont know..i hate to see dogs shot... but i do understand that it is necessary sometimes..


Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
Benton (Saline County) AR
That's the thing about the SHUT UP part, you don't ever admit to shooting the dog.

Dog, what dog?? it got shot??? That's terrible!!!!! So sorry to hear it.

Careful though, if I knew somebody slashed my tires I know I'd do something ten times worse to them......sounds like they have started a war. That's another thing. Don't ever start something that you can't FINISH.


9 Years
Mar 13, 2010
I expect to get flamed... but I totally disagree. If this was the first time the dog was there, and the man saw it happening / was able to interrupt and perhaps even capture the dog - he should have given the dog owner a chance first. Did he have a right to shoot the dog? Absolutely. Does that make it right? not necessarily. One second chance could have saved a lot of hassle, time, stress, strife, stitches and tires.
If this was already the 2nd chance, then the guy is an idiot for not burying the dog right the first time.

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