A man was found guilty of shooting his neighbor over a dog dispute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Douglas Hamsher, 72, now faces up to 25 years in prison.
Man shoots neighbor over dog
According to FOX 6, the shooting occurred near 79th and Hampton. Gertrude Byrd was Hamsher’s neighbor for eight years. During that time, she told the news outlet she “never had a problem” with him. Then, on Aug. 14, 2022, Byrd was outside while her children rode their bikes. Byrd’s dog jumped up on the fence. Allegedly, Hamsher threatened to shoot the dog.
“I said, ‘If you shoot my dog, you’re going to have to shoot me, too,’” Byrd recalled. “He started swearing. He started saying all this crazy stuff. Like, he made some racial slurs, and he started shooting.”
Hamsher started firing. He shot Byrd in the shoulder. Bullets also hit her garden and home. Byrd went to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.
Police arrived to find Hamsher on his porch. His gun was next to him. After he was in custody, Hamsher confessed to the shooting. Additionally, police found five bullet casings at the scene. No further information on the dog was available.
Douglas Hamsher was found guilty of first-degree reckless injury by a jury. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 10.
How to respond if a neighbor has an issue with your dog
There is no excuse for violence between neighbors. However, if your neighbor has a problem with your dog, there may be ways to prevent the issue from escalating.
First, address the situation with empathy and open communication. Start by listening to their concerns and understanding their perspective. Respect their right to a peaceful living environment. Also, acknowledge that your dog’s behavior may be causing distress.
Next, assess the issue objectively. Is your dog barking excessively, running loose, or causing any other disturbances? Once you identify the problem, take steps to rectify it. This may involve training your dog, reducing barking triggers, or improving security measures to prevent escapes.
Finally, have a conversation with your neighbor to propose solutions. Compromise is key. If necessary, consult a professional dog trainer or seek advice from a veterinarian to ensure you’re taking the right steps. Show genuine willingness to resolve the issue and be a responsible pet parent. This way, you can maintain a positive relationship with your neighbor and contribute to a more harmonious neighborhood.