October 26, 1995 in Idaho

Blind Man’s Guide Dog Killed By Neighbor

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

A blind man says he was stunned to learn a Parker resident shot and killed his guide dog after it roamed into the man’s yard.

“I didn’t realize how much I needed him until he was gone,” said Wayne Edlefsen, 43. “You can’t keep an animal tied up … I let him be a dog one day, and it was a mistake.”

Edlefsen was helping his son, Corey, load firewood on Sunday when they let their two black labradors loose. The dogs went into the yard of Corey Statham.

Statham, who said he has had trouble in the past with stray dogs, opened fire.

Jed, a $20,000 guide dog who had been Edlefsen’s companion for the past 19 months, was killed instantly. Corey Edlefsen’s dog, Tar, was badly injured and had to be killed.

“The dog was with me all the time,” Wayne Edlefsen said. “Now he’s gone. Like my wife said, that’s almost like losing one of my kids.”

But the man who shot Jed said he didn’t realize he was killing a guide dog. “The two dogs came into my yard,” said Statham. “I’d never seen them before … I shot them.”

When neighbors told him what he’d done, Statham said he felt badly that he had killed a guide dog, especially one owned by Wayne Edlefsen, whom he’s known all his life.

“I just, oh, I felt bad,” he said.

Parker city attorney Jerry Rigby said Tuesday the case is under review and he isn’t sure if Statham will be charged.


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