.Dog Down: Novato police officer shoots neighbor’s dog

On a drizzly Sunday morning in September, a tragic series of events unfolded in Petaluma that ended with two dead chickens, a Novato police sergeant shooting a neighbor’s dog and a long list of unanswered questions.

Debate on social media exploded after KGO-TV broke the news in mid-December. An anecdotal survey of comments showed many people in Sonoma County noting that it is legal to shoot a dog when it kills chickens. Meanwhile, most Marin-based commenters opined that shooting the dog was unreasonable and the Novato Police Department should conduct a full investigation.

Sonoma County and state statutes do permit a person to kill a dog that is attacking chickens on their property, regardless of the proximity to homes and people.

In October, the Novato Police Department reviewed a complaint stemming from the incident and announced that no disciplinary action will be taken against Sgt. Nick Frey, the employee who shot and killed his neighbors’ dog.

Still, some Marin residents are concerned about Frey and his behavior, all captured on video.

The Incident

Anna and Phil Henry, both in their 70s, live on a narrow lane in rural Petaluma. Sgt. Nick Frey, a police de-escalation instructor and head of Novato’s SWAT team, and his wife, Jennie Frey, live next door. Although the two properties each cover about two acres, the houses are situated close together.

The Henrys’ grandchildren accidentally let Huck, the couple’s four-year-old Black Mouth Cur, out of their fenced yard on Sept. 18, at about 10:50am. Huck, who weighed 90 pounds, entered the Freys’ partially unfenced property.

The Freys’ Ring cameras captured audio and video of what transpired after the dog arrived.

Upon watching the six videos provided to the Pacific Sun by the Freys’ attorney, Alison Berry Wilkinson, it became apparent that some footage was missing. Wilkinson admitted that additional footage exists; however, she said it was not released due to concerns for the Frey children’s privacy and “threatened litigation” by the Henry family.

The video sequences begin with Huck in the Freys’ yard and the Henry’s grandchildren can be heard trying to lure him home with treats. Soon a chaotic scene developed with Huck, chickens, Anna Henry, and Nick and Jennie Frey.

Huck chased chickens that roamed freely in the Freys’ yard, while Anna Henry pursued and yelled at him.

Nick Frey came into the yard with a handgun. He shouted and cursed.

Anna Henry caught Huck and leashed him, but he had already killed two chickens. Nick Frey stood next to his neighbor and the dog.

“Those are my children’s birds,” Nick Frey yelled.

Suddenly, Huck turned and pulled. Anna Henry, who underwent hip replacement surgery the previous month, fell to the ground and let go of the leash. Huck lunged behind a large tree that obscured much of the camera’s view. Nick Frey, also behind the tree, immediately took several steps to the side, moving away from the dog.

“Nick, kill him,” Jennie Frey screamed. “Goddamnit. Kill that fucking dog.”

Nick Frey fired three shots. The dog dropped to the ground several feet in front of his shooter. Despite all three bullets hitting Huck, he was alive.

After the shooting

Not surprisingly, the Henrys and the Freys don’t agree on what happened before, during or after the shooting. While the Pacific Sun interviewed the Henrys for their perspectives, the Freys’ version of events comes from email exchanges with Wilkinson, their attorney. In addition, Wilkinson provided two written declarations, one by Jennie Frey and the other from Nick Frey.

According to Anna Henry, Huck pulled away from her because he was focused on a chicken that had begun flapping its wings. The dog ran past Nick Frey to get to the bird and was then shot in the back, she said.

Refuting Anna Henry’s claim, Nick Frey said the dog lunged at him, and he felt threatened, which is why he fired his gun.

Phil Henry, who was in his car at the end of the Freys’ driveway when the shooting occurred, had a clear view of the incident.

“I saw Nick shoot Huck as he was running away,” Phil Henry said. “The tree wasn’t in the way for me.”

After the shooting, Anna Henry said she asked Nick Frey to euthanize Huck because he was suffering. But Nick Frey responded that he’s “not touching that dog,” she said. 

Nick Frey said his wife requested he euthanize the dog, but he declined because it would be illegal.

Believing Huck’s death was imminent, the Henrys stayed with him in the Freys’ yard for an hour. But Huck hung on, and the Henrys brought him to a veterinarian, who examined the dog and took x-rays of the gunshot wounds.

Huck could hear, partially lift his head and responded to pain, according to the veterinarian’s report. Gunshot wounds were found at the back of the dog’s head, behind his right ear and over his shoulder. Based on these findings, the Henrys decided to euthanize Huck.

Wilkerson said she would need to see an autopsy, photos and x-rays to determine that the dog was shot from behind. There are “multiple potential explanations” for the dog’s wounds in these areas, including the downward trajectory of the bullets or “the dog started to turn as he heard the first shot fire.”

About 25 minutes after the shooting, while Huck was still alive in the yard with the Henrys, Nick Frey told Sonoma County Animal Services that he shot and killed the dog, according to a report by an animal control officer.

Nick Frey’s written declaration stated he thought the dog was dead because the Henrys had covered Huck with a blanket.

The Beginning

The Henrys say there was only one previous encounter between Nick Frey and the dog, occurring in late June or early July. Huck barked at Nick Frey when he came outside to place his trash in the cans, which are next to the fence separating the two properties. 

“I pulled Huck away from the fence,” Phil Henry said. “Nick said to me, ‘If your dog ever comes over here, he’s not coming back.’”

The Freys’ attorney, Wilkinson, denies her client used those words, but concedes that Nick Frey did say he would kill the dog to protect his family and chickens. However, Wikinson said it wasn’t a threat.

In response, the Henry’s raised the fence two feet and placed lattice work at the top to cut Huck’s view of the neighbor’s yard. After Jennie Frey texted Phil Henry to thank him for increasing the fence height, the Henrys believed the issue was resolved.

Yet, Wilkinson asserts the Freys had encounters with Huck on “multiple occasions.” The dog attempted to scale the fence to get to the chickens and was “aggressive toward Mr. Frey, barking viciously” at him, Wilkinson said.

The Freys only complained about Huck on that one occasion and appeared to know that Huck wasn’t vicious, the Henrys said. Afterall, when the Henrys’ grandchildren lived with them for six months, the Frey children visited and played with the dog, according to Anna Henry.

“We took Huck to the dog park every day and there were never any issues, “Phil said. “Not with people or other dogs.”

Two weeks after the shooting, the Freys put plastic skeletons of a dog and a human lying on the ground holding a leash in their yard, about where Huck was shot, the Henrys said. Already traumatized by the shooting, the family now felt intimidated, according to Anna Henry. 

“It did not occur to me that the placement of those Halloween decorations might cause mental anguish or distress to our neighbors,” Nick Frey said.

The Aftermath

Sonoma County Animal Services found that Nick Frey was within his legal rights to shoot Huck and closed the case within days. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Officer concurred with the decision, according to an email sent to the Henrys by an animal control officer.

Anna Henry filed a complaint about Nick Frey with the Novato Police Department on Oct. 12, saying that he had used excessive force and “seemed very out of control.”

Novato Police Chief Beth Johnson responded less than two weeks later, stating the department conducted a review and concluded the incident was out of their jurisdiction.

In an interview, Johnson said she “reviewed everything in its totality,” including the videos. The gun used to shoot the dog was not Nick Frey’s service weapon, another factor which distanced the incident from the police department, she said.

“No disciplinary action will be taken,” Johnson said. “There is not a nexus to his employment, and the labor laws are very specific.”

Interestingly, Nick Frey cited a state law and a Novato Police Department policy when he explained his reasons for declining to euthanize the dog. The law and policy both prohibit a law enforcement officer from euthanizing an animal, unless it is a stray or abandoned and “so badly injured that human compassion requires its removal from further suffering and where other dispositions are impractical.”

Since shooting and seriously wounding the dog had no connection to Nick Frey’s employment as a law enforcement officer, then euthanizing the dog shouldn’t either. 

Novato police department policy also states that lying and unbecoming conduct, both on- and off-duty, are causes for disciplinary action. Johnson said she has no reason to believe her employee to be dishonest. There are different perceptions of an emotionally charged event, she said.

Credibility is at the core of the incident, according to Thomas Tiderington, a police use of force expert with more than 42 years of experience in law enforcement, including two decades serving as a police chief. Tiderington believes the shooting was justified but said he can’t determine if it was reasonable. He questions whether Nick Frey stepped away from the dog “to take the shot” or because he felt threatened.

“What did the officer believe in the moment it was occurring?” Tiderington said. “We don’t know exactly what happened. If he felt he was going to be injured by the dog, there’s no way anyone else could dispute that. He covered his bases by saying he felt he was in danger and protecting the chickens.”

Some of the officer’s conduct was unprofessional, Tiderington said. He cited keeping the skeletons on display as the “most outrageous” act.

“I really question the wisdom of the officer about that,” Tiderington said.

Some members of the Novato Police Advisory Review Board (PARB) also have questions. The board is composed of seven residents who are appointed by the Novato City Council to advise on police department policy. 

One concern is the city failed to inform PARB that a complaint had been filed against an officer, although it is required by a city council resolution. Johnson said the board wasn’t told yet because it meets quarterly. However, the last meeting took place three weeks after Anna Henry filed her complaint and a week after Johnson responded to it.

Another issue is that Novato City Manager Adam McGill denied a PARB member’s request to call a special meeting about Nick Frey, according to an email obtained by the Pacific Sun. McGill’s reasoning is that the board could potentially be called upon to review this personnel matter, and members discussing it beforehand would render them ineffective as a “neutral jury.” 

McGill’s logic seems flawed based on one of the prerequisites to trigger a PARB review of a personnel issue. The citizen who filed a complaint about the officer must also file an appeal of department’s determination within 30 days. Then McGill decides whether PARB will review the appeal.

Anna Henry never appealed Johnson’s decision because no one told her she could. It’s not on the generic complaint form and Johnson’s letter didn’t mention it. The 30-day window expired weeks ago.

Without an appeal, a PARB review isn’t triggered, making McGill’s excuse not to schedule the special meeting a moot point. Furthermore, PARB’s rules and regulations permit the board to call meetings and place items on the agenda.

The Future

Meanwhile, it’s been more than three months since the Henrys lost Huck. Their grief is still close to the surface. Anna Henry spoke to the Pacific Sun only once because she can no longer discuss Huck’s death. During several conversations with Phil Henry, he cried.

The only decision remaining for the the Henrys is whether to file a lawsuit against Nick Frey, but they understand it’s a long and emotional process. Still, they want to hold him accountable in some way.

In an interview with the Pacific Sun, the Henrys’ attorney said they could make a case for intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

“Something has to be done about this officer,” Phil Henry said. “I don’t want Huck to have died in vain.”

Nikki Silverstein
Nikki Silverstein is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Pacific Sun since 2005. She escaped Florida after college and now lives in Sausalito with her Chiweenie and an assortment of foster dogs. Send news tips to [email protected].


  1. He is lucky it was not my dog and wife he was shooting around. There would be police ambulance and me going to jail. I would shoot to wound. No reason to shoot a dog. Could of shot at the ground near it to scare it but he is lieing his ass of. Every time I stand up for police against some one one has to go do this stupid stuff. I’m done the cop had a open property line he should of put a fence up.

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  2. I have chickens. My very sweet Samoyed found two loose and killed them. Although I mourned the loss of my chickens, it is natural behavior for a dog to go after prey
    In the case in question, the Henry’s were not letting their dog run free. Their grandchildren let the dog loose by a accident. As well, a woman recently having a hip replacement is lying on the ground after trying to catch her dog. If Nick Frey was so worried about his loose chickens why had HE not secured a fence to protect them. It sounds like the Henry’s were doing all the securing and trying to keep the Frey’s chickens safe. THE GRANDCHILDREN MADE A MISTAKE! How could anybody shoot a neighbor’s dog as the owner lay on the ground in desperation. Did the grand hildren have to watch their dog getting shot? Here is yet another case of a trigger happy cop who believes he is above all moral decency because HE has a badge and gun. If he’s this trigger happy over a dog let loose by mistake by children, who will he shoot next? This is another cop making a bad name for all police. If the department allows this sadist, (remember the skeletons), to continue to carry a gun, are they condoning this out of control behavior for all officers in their jurisdiction?

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    • No no no…it’s distasteful as hell but the law clearly lets dogs be shot for chasing livestock (or chickens,apparently.) “Shooting into the ground” is in the same category as “shoot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand;” it don’t happen that was in real life. Chased down my (bad) lab who took off after cattle at Burdell once, all the while dreading the possibility that a rancher might (sadly, but fully legally)shoot him. Fortunately it didn’t happen.

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  3. Huck didn’t need to be shot!! Frey being in the law enforcement and head of SWAT, etc. He doesn’t seem to have common sense as to what to do in an emergency!! Frey shouldn’t be putting the skeletons on the lawn, it’s just to traumatized the Henry’s and their innocent grandchildren over and over!! That’s mean and cruel. It’s awful that he getting away with the horrible actions he took and to continue to hurt the Henry’s. Frey has no heart. Remember, he shot Huck from behind!! Frey feels he is above the law because he’s an Officer. He shouldn’t be carrying a gun and dealing with the public. He’s a danger to society!!

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  4. I agree with these comments…it is so troubling that he is a police officer. Rest in peace, Huck.

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  5. That officer does not have compassion or common sense. He should be fired! What an embarrassment!

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  6. That officer does not have compassion or common sense. He should be fired! What an embarrassment!

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  7. I can believe that the man who shot this dog is walking away with NO penalty. Like all the people above who replied – I strongly think it’s Horrible that this ‘cop’ literally got away with murder! There is at least 1/2 dozen ways the dog could have been stopped from bothering the birds. What is wrong with the police department there?? – and you wonder why so many people don’t trust – or even hate cops!!! SICKENING. If it was my dog, I’d work on getting this ‘so called ‘person’ who killed my innocent playful dog – punished fairly for his behavior.

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  8. Huck’s owner is responsible. The dog was out of control for quite a while killing chickens. Yes, dogs can be attracted to chasing prey, but I had a neighbors dog sneak in to systematically rip off feet from the bottom of a rabbit hutch so they died from shock and bleeding to death. I was murder mayhem. The dog then killed a chicken and there were feathers traced to the neighbor’s house. The same owner’s dog killed yet another neighbor’s pet jack rabbit in their own garden. Some dogs need to be controlled to an extent so that if they get out–they don’t kill, get run over, cause mayhem—and guess whose liability it should be if a dog gets into trouble, causes damage or even gets shot—the dog owner. I love dogs but they can be a lot of work and hassle when they get into trouble. My own recent rescue dog was terrible to settle down and train-and I was always worried that she would get out and get run over or cause an accident. Finally, the training kicked in and she is a much better behaved and loveable beast. I love dogs, but I think it was unfortunate that Huck lost his life because he was out of control.

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    • I hope he get shot in the back of the head…. That’s all…oh wait I hope his wife get kicked in the back of the head every time she goes to the buck shot

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    • What a bizarre response! Do you have proof to back up your statement that the dog was “out of control for a while and killing chickens?” Or is this the way you described this solitary incident? Describing your own incident with rabbits has absolutely nothing to do with this. As a Novato resident I find it extremely distressing to see this type of behavior from someone who is supposedly a de-escalation expert. Not just shooting the dog in the back of the head (with the elderly lady laying on the ground screaming), but then putting up a dog skeleton. This guy is a sicko and should not be on the force!

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  9. Is this the kind of level headed behavior we expect from armed public employees?
    Does he have to kill a human being before his bosses ‘take action’?
    I wonder why so many people hate cops?

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  10. My take is irresponsible dog owners, they aren’t blameless here, and an angry neighbor who should not be a police officer even if what he did was legal. And, yes, it probably was but that doesn’t make it moral. What sort of thoughtless cruelty was required to put the skeletal display in his back yard? How on earth are they going continue to be neighbors?

    And he’s a “police de-escalation instructor”? He doesn’t seem competent to lead by example and I’d rather not have some so evidently trigger happy working on a SWAT team.

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  11. I believe that all officers of the law should have to undergo psychological evaluations at regular intervals. If for some reason they are not peace keepers in their private life, then it be deemed inappropriate to put them behind a badge, gun with live ammunition and the sworn duty to serve and protect as a profession.

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  12. Am I the only one seeing the Jada Pinket type behavior from the wife. Encouraging to kill- forcing masculinity- promoting violence? Maybe it’s not all just Nick?

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    • The wife is responsible —and the attorney is covering up. Huck’s breed is from the southern part of our country . Huck was a hunting dog. He was just doing what his breed does. Also loved children. I cannot forget Huck The laws need to change…… The Novato police need to fire Frey. Change the law to the entire state to a law that respects families with dogs.

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    • No, you’re not Brian. I see it. It’s a family systems textbook case, and as with most reactive humans the policeman’s brain was hijacked. The irony is that he is a D escalator would be satirical if it weren’t so awfully sad, but it’s not as if it doesn’t happen every day on the streets of our cities with police and their life experiences, and those black and brown people who are in not in a dissimilar, unfortunately, more vulnerable than a dog attacking chickens in Sonoma, who is under jurisdiction of the law allowed to be killed because… unfortunately, more vulnerable than a dog attacking chickens in Sonoma, who is under jurisdiction of the law allowed to be killed; situation in the homefront on our nation’s streets and if we’re truly going to fix the problem, we have to find a way to see clearly there is a great need for police officers to receive support; try to help end the stigma around tge reality of mental illness. To help “them” as well as “us” is essential if we are to truly affect change. It the most Human thing to do, if we’re truly going to begin to consider the value of approaching this incident as a microcosm of our human habitat patterns to act violently when our amygdala perceive a threat – that is fortified by one’s partner makes it even more complex. The sad thing is, there’s no culpability there’s no mea culpa there’s no I am sorry there is nothing as yet. It is my hope that that will change. And bravo to Nikki the journalist for her equanimity and diplomacy.

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  13. That’s some kind of ‘de-escalation training officer’ Novato has, entirely unprofessional behavior on the officer’s part. Shame on the complicit members of police and others involved who denied the dog’s owners a hearing. I hope there is litigation that produces an intensive investigation into all aspects of this shooting. The wound pattern raises questions, as does officer’s immediate violent reaction and seemingly uncontrolled response to instigation.
    This reflects badly on Novato PD.

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  14. The law is very clear that Mr. Frey was entirely within his legal rights, as a private citizen, to shoot the dog on his property in the act of killing his poultry. And yes, Sonoma County regs allow someone to discharge a weapon for protection of livestock and poultry. Transplants from wealthy enclaves in the Bay Area need to understand the Dog and Livestock Laws in Sonoma County. The responsibility is entirely with dog owners to keep their dogs from attacking livestock or poultry. The Henry’s did NOT take ample care to secure their dog. They were responsible to keep the dog on tether or in a run, if there was any likelihood he could have escaped.

    CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL CODE: Dog killing livestock and poultry 31102. Except in an area in which the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 31151) of this chapter apply or as otherwise provided in Section 31104, any person may kill any dog in any of the following cases: (a) The dog is found in the act of killing, wounding, or persistently pursuing or worrying livestock or poultry on land or premises which are not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog. (b) The person has such proof as conclusively shows that the dog has been recently engaged in killing or wounding livestock or poultry on land or premises which are not owned or possessed by the dog’s owner. No action, civil or criminal, shall be maintained for the killing of any such dog.

    The Henry’s were given this information from Animal Control, Sonoma County Sheriff, and Novato Police. But in their unwillingness to accept responsibility for not controlling their aggressive dog, they are now on a witchhunt to defame the reputation of police officer, knowing they have no civil or criminal recourse. And because the LAW wasn’t on their side, they ran to a news outlet to gain sympathy.

    Who should be held accountable for the death of Huck? The Henry’s, who should have not left the dog unattended with young children. They should have kept the dog contained on their property, so he couldn’t escape. How about the Henry’s show accountability for their violation of the law and the killing of someone else’s animals?

    This comment has been edited by the Pacific Sun for accuracy.

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    • Thank you for the response. It appeared as though the predatory response from Huck was the reason for this statement. The Henry’s clearly saw a concern to do this because of the dog’s behavior: “In response, the Henry’s raised the fence two feet and placed lattice work at the top to cut Huck’s view of the neighbor’s yard.”

      As a side note, kudos to you for being the only news agency presenting a well researched and objective reporting of this sad situation. I found that neither ABC7, nor Press Democrat, presented the event in an equal or thorough manner. I don’t know either party, but I have been a Sonoma County resident for a very long time. This is not the 1st time a loose dog has been shot for attacking livestock/poultry, and I suspect it will not be the last. California laws are clear that the onus of control is entirely on the dog owner.

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      • I believe you misunderstood the reason the Henrys raised the fence. It was never said in the article there was “a predatory response from Huck.”

        When the dog barked at Sgt. Frey near the fence as he put his trash outside, he stated to Phil Henry that he would kill the dog, which was confirmed by Alison Berry Wilkinson, the Freys’ attorney. (Phil Henry and Sgt. Frey disagree on the wording.)

        To prevent Huck from seeing and barking at Sgt. Frey when he placed the garbage outside, the Henrys raised the fence and put lattice work up.

        In fact, the portion of the fence in the front of the Henrys’ home remains two feet lower with no lattice work. The Henrys never stated that Huck was predatory, and they told me he had never scaled or jumped the fence. They have repeatedly stated that Huck was a friendly dog.

        Neither the Henrys nor the Freys dispute that the dog was let out of the yard by the Henrys’ grandchildren and killed two chickens. The Henrys understand that the law allowed Sgt. Frey to kill the dog. Their concerns center around Sgt. Frey’s behavior prior to, during and after the shooting.

        Three pets died in this tragic incident. The Frey children witnessed it, according to Wilkinson. The Henrys say that they, and their grandchildren, remain traumatized. There are certainly no winners.

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        • Then I’m really confused. It was the Henry’s (not the Frey’s) assertion that “The Freys only complained about Huck on that one occasion and appeared to know that Huck wasn’t vicious.”

          But that is not what the Frey’s legal representation states: “Yet, Wilkinson [lawyer] asserts the Freys had encounters with Huck on “multiple occasions.” The dog attempted to scale the fence to get to the chickens and was “aggressive toward Mr. Frey, barking viciously” at him, Wilkinson said.”

          And Frey stated on camera to Anna that he had previously warned them that he would kill the dog if he attacked his chickens. So, clearly there was a known issue between the 2 families that Huck was seen as a threat to the Frey’s chickens.

          Frey did his due diligence, prior to the shooting, in warning the Henry’s of the consequences if Huck attacked. Frey allowed Anna to leash the dog even after it had attacked his chickens, and only shot when the dog became uncontrollable again.

          The issue I have is that the Henry’s are trying to ruin Frey’s livelihood and character, which seems revengeful. They are threatening a lawsuit, when they clearly have no legal recourse. They demand Frey be accountable, when they refuse to accept accountability for the death of their dog, which resides solely on their lack of controlling and containing him.

          Dogs are considered predators against livestock/poultry, which is why the Ag Code pertaining to dogs has been on the books for decades. Because there have been instances of dogs attacking and killing horses, sheep, cows, pigs, poultry, etc., the law places all responsibility on the dog owner. As a horse owner, I’m sure you can understand that.

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    • The Henry family(Mr. and Mrs. Henry plus daughter and grandchildren) have sustained significant psychological trauma(damage) due to Mr. and Mrs. Frey’s violent and unnecessary actions. Your “cut and paste” comment is completely lacking as far as any sort of compassion and empathy for the Henry family. I sincerely hope for litigation on this matter. If it were to go before a jury I’m confident that they would find the Frey couple at fault.

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      • It will never go before a jury, because it will be thrown out as a frivolous lawsuit. In December 2020, a Fresno rancher shot and killed a French Bulldog trespassing on his property and chasing his cows. The District Attorney held the rancher within his legal rights and considered charging the dog owner with trespassing. The media in Fresno did an objective job reporting the legality of the case, rather than sensationally reporting the incident to create anger and divisiveness. If a person moves to a rural county anywhere in California, they need to understand the Dog and Livestock Laws.

        The Frey’s and their children have sustained significant psychological trauma(damage) due to the Henry’s failure to control their dog’s violent and unnecessary actions. And if I was Mr. Frey, I would consider filing a defamation suit against the Henry’s to recoup all the legal fees this has created for him. The US Department of Justice acknowledges that “while police defamation actions against citizens are not yet commonplace, more and more police officers have turned to civil actions to discourage or defend themselves against citizen complaints of police misconduct.”

        One has to ask why the Henry’s are engaging the media for sympathy and pursuing these allegations against Frey. The KGO7 interview tells us: “Phil Henry tells the I-Team, “I’d like for him to feel some pain.”

        And in a Dec 22nd Press Democrat, the Henry’s stated agenda through their attorney is PUNISHMENT, despite the fact that California Ag Code 31102 specifically denies any civil recourse in this instance: “Liebreich said she recommended her clients file a civil suit alleging “intentional infliction of emotional distress, possibly animal cruelty, and maybe negligence too. But their goal is not to get money for themselves. … They just want him to be punished.”

        Punishments could include Frey receiving a psychological evaluation, being suspended, and not being allowed to use a firearm, she said. She added the Henrys have two years to decide whether to file.”

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  15. I think what you are failing to realize why people are up in arms about Sgt. Frey is:

    There is no way at anytime that he did not know that putting up a human skeleton and a dog skeleton connected by a leash (at roughly the same spot where Huck was shot in the back) would cause mental anguish or would distress his neighbors.

    He knew it would. And in doing so, showed a sick and demented side of him.

    The fact that he threatened the owners by saying their dog wouldn’t come back if Huck went into his yard is hard to ignore, especially after it came to fruition.

    I think not protecting his chickens by having a fence up is opening up his chickens to be taken out by predators. Unfortunately, this time the predator happened to be a neighborhood family dog that Frey’s children would play with when they came over to visit the Henry’s grandchildren.

    And even though Sgt. Frey said the right thing when he said he feared for the his safety, I’m not buying it. There is no way a trained leader of a swat team, armed with a gun, was ever afraid for his safety of a neighborhood dog who he had no problem with his kids playing with.

    The bottom line is, he is a paid public servant and even though he was off duty he still has a code of conduct to uphold.

    “I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.”

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      • Unfortunately, the law is clear that dogs are to remain under control and off other people’s properties at all times. It is not the Frey’s or any ranchers’ responsibility to dog proof their property. It is the Henry’s (and all dog owners) responsibility to tether or confine their dog in a run, if there is a possibility it can escape their yard.

        Should they fail to do so, and the dog attacks livestock or poultry, the livestock/poultry owner has the legal right to kill the dog with no civil or criminal recourse. Futhermore, the dog owner is responsible for all financial reimbursements to the livestock/poultry owner and can be sued. For any dog owner who wants to live in rural Sonoma County, they need to understand the Ag Code laws and the consequences for failing to follow them.

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        • Karen, I didn’t realize Sonoma County was such a horrible place to live. Are you saying neighbors in Sonoma County don’t help each other out? That making threats is part of country living? That it’s a gamble living in rural Sonoma County? Are you saying that all the Ag folks in Sonoma County are cold & callous & that because it’s the law & their right the first choice will always be to fire a gun? It’s the law & therefore it’s ok? It’s the law & therefore no other options should be considered? It’s the law & therfore neighbors don’t need to reach out to each other & try to work things out?
          “For any dog owner who wants to live in rural Sonoma County, they need to understand the Ag Code laws and the consequences for failing to follow them”.
          Karen, thank you for letting anyone who may be thinking about moving to rural Sonoma County the ways of the land. Sounds a bit scary & probably a dangerous place to have pets & raise children.

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