01/15/2014 09:30 EST | Updated 03/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Eugene Krawchuk Says He Shot Girl's Pet Dog To Protect His Farm Animals

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SASKATOON - The man accused of shooting his neighbour's 11-month-old St. Bernard says he did it to protect his animals.

Eugene Krawchuk, 59, and his wife, Laurie, 56, are both charged with possessing a firearm without a licence.

Krawchuk is also charged with use of a firearm in a careless manner, killing a dog without lawful excuse and destroying a dog other than in a prescribed manner.

Krawchuk testified Wednesday that his wife told him the dog was attacking their animals on their farm near St. Denis, Sask., and that he needed to get the gun and “put the dog down.”

Lianne Price, 17, has testified she begged Krawchuk not to shoot the dog, named Bentley, but he pulled the trigger and her pet died in her arms, whimpering and twitching.

Under cross-examination, Krawchuk admitted loading his rifle before he knew exactly what was going on.

The Crown asked if he had the intention to kill Bentley regardless of what the dog was doing. Krawchuk denied it, saying that his wife would never tell him to shoot anything unless it was serious.

Bentley was biting at his donkey’s legs, going after his llama and chasing his horses in a circle, he testified.

When asked why he didn’t listen to the girl's pleas, Krawchuk said there wouldn’t have been a problem if she had gotten control of her dog.

The couple both testified that over the last six years, the Price family’s three other dogs often got into their pasture and chased their animals.

“Certainly it frustrates to some point,” Krawchuk said.

Court heard there was bad blood between the neighbours, and the Prices referred to the Krawchuks as "the crazies."

Lianne Price's father, Michael, has testified when he heard the crack of the rifle and saw his daughter drop to her knees, he thought she had been shot.

He said when he realized it was Bentley that was shot, he grabbed Krawchuk by the collar and demanded he apologize to his daughter. He said Krawchuk stumbled to the ground; when he got up, Price admitted giving him a hard push on the back of the head.

Price is charged with assault. His case is still before the court.


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