Man fatally shot 2 Labs as revenge for killing his cat

In Christiansburg, Virginia, the owner of a cat killed by two Labrador retrievers shot the dogs in revenge as they rode in the back of a pickup truck. In the November 9 incident, Stephen Nichols Cook, 68, faced numerous charges in the use of a firearm between Cook and the owner of the dogs – Arthur Hamrick.

According to the Roanoke Times, Cook was convicted on Tuesday of two misdemeanor charges. He was also found guilty of brandishing a firearm and recklessly handling of a firearm with a fine of $2,500 for each offense. The judge also imposed a 12-month jail sentence for each charge, then suspended nine months of each, leaving six months to serve.  Felony charges of recklessly shooting at a vehicle and two counts of cruelty to animals were sent on to a grand jury for a decision.

Witnesses testified Cook and his neighbor Hamrick had a long standing feud because of encounters with the cats and the dogs. In a field where Hamrick had been keeping cattle, the two Labrador retrievers named Yancey and Maggie May, were allowed to run free as he worked and fed the animals. The cats, owned by Cook frequently roamed onto the field.  In a prior incident where one of Hamrick’s dogs had grabbed one of the cats, the cat survived and Hamrick paid the veterinarian’s bill for the cat’s treatment. In November one of the dogs picked up another cat named Jeffrey in the field; this time the cat died and Cook was extremely distraught.

He picked up his gun and chased down Hamrick’s truck. When Hamrick stopped, Cook pointed at the dogs and shot them; one of the dog’s died immediately and the other dog died before arriving at the vet hospital. In court, Cook’s attorney stated his client was sorry the dogs had been killed, but said he was extremely grief stricken at the time, whereas the assistant prosecutor responded that “revenge or anger is not a justification. That’s why we have laws.”

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11 replies
  1. Pamela Garlisch says:

    That man needs to go to anger management classes and serve his full time in jail. He just can’t go around shooting things and what were the cats doing running loose anyway when the dogs were on their own property?

    • Linda Szymoniak says:

      My cats will never be allowed loose outside. There was just a cat dead on the street by me the other day – hit by a car and didn’t have a chance. My cats are indoor-only and my dogs are allowed in our fenced yard (and I supervise them) or on leashes outside of the yard. This world just isn’t a safe place for pets who are allowed to roam. It’s just sad that now two dogs and a cat are dead, and the punishment definitely doesn’t fit the crime.

  2. Nadya Anne Wall-Rossi says:

    Stupid hillbilly! Why did the idiot judge let him off so easily? Because animals lives DON’T matter to the law, that’s why!

  3. Ezgi Melody says:

    Where is being an animal lover or cat lover or dog lover in all of this ??
    What the F*ck ?? !! Psycho POS !! Poor Cat and Dogs…

  4. Helen says:

    Unfortunately there are no winners in this awful situation. When you allow your pets to roam freely without supervision, bad things can happen. However, I agree the man can’t go around shooting at things that upset him. One day someone will shoot back.

  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    The idiot had one of his cat’s attacked so why didn’t he keep them in the house and away from the dog’s property! He aught to be “extremely grief stricken” it’s HIS fault his cat got killed. But to kill the dogs for doing what some dogs do, go after cats, is disgusting. His punishment is a joke also, he murdered these dogs and deserves more than 6 months in jail and a fine! He needs to have his guns taken away before he kills someone or thing else! Way to go judge, another slap on the wrist!

  6. maxiemom says:

    Why didn’t that IDIOT simply leave his cats indoors?????

    A lot of the people in that area are backwards and clannish. Fits these two a******* to a tee.

  7. Darla G says:

    That effing POS deserves to die. He murdered those beautiful dogs. I have Labs and this makes me absolutely sick. The cat was on the dogs’ property – and dogs chase cats, it’s what they do! RIP to the cat and the dogs. They are the victims. If the joke of a “man” had kept his cat home, all of the animals would still be alive.

  8. Marni says:

    That sentencing was a joke.
    so disgusting. I feel bad for him that he lost his cat, but to go out and shoot and kill these dogs was wrong.

  9. Debbie says:

    What this man did was beyond belief. He is dam lucky that guy didn’t blow his head off. I know I would have!!!!! He needs to be serving some years for this!!!! He was DEAD WRONG IN HIS ACTIONS! Unbelievable!!!!!


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