BELLLINGHAM, Wash. (TheBlaze/AP) — Corgi owners around the nation are rallying around a slain Bellingham dog, calling for the harshest penalty for the man charged with killing Molly, a Pembroke Welsh corgi.
A "Justice for Molly the Corgi" Facebook page has garnered just over 5,000 likes as of Saturday. The corgi owners are spearheading a letter writing campaign to the Whatcom County prosecutors' office, imploring them to seek the harshest penalty against 55-year-old David William Latham.
Latham — a branch manager at local Chase Bank at the time of the shooting — was charged on Friday with first-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony, the Bellingham Herald reported.
Authorities said Latham — annoyed at a barking dog — armed himself with a rifle, walked across the street, aimed over a fence, and without saying a word shot Molly in front of her owners and then turned around and walked away, the Herald noted.
But Molly wasn't even the dog that was barking.
More from the Herald:
Police noted Latham “appeared to be fairly intoxicated and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath,” according to the charges. Officers recovered nine guns from his home.
In the chaos just after the shooting, authorities told (owners Cary) Chunyk and his wife, Loyce Andrews, they should stay home until the gunman was arrested. So they cradled Molly, and wrapped her towels, as she bled for a half-hour before dying.
“I wanted to get her into the car and get her on the road,” Andrews said. “I’ve had animals all my life, and it was obvious she was seriously hurt.”
A necropsy performed by a Whatcom Humane Society veterinarian, Karen Rounds, found the gunshot pierced Molly’s right carotid artery. She died from severe hemorrhaging.
“Given the extensive innervation in the area,” Rounds wrote in a report, “the injury would have been very painful.”
Latham's attorney, Adrian Madrone, said his client is "extremely regretful and remorseful for his actions."
“People love their animals like children. So we’re going to get this turned into something positive,” Andrews told the Herald. “The outpouring of support has been phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.”