Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hunting beagle fatally shot when she walked into neighbor’s property near Burgaw

Dab’s restaurant published a Facebook post that was later deleted admitting that a neighbor’s dog, pictured, was shot and killed on their home property. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Facebook)

BURGAW — A hunting beagle was fatally shot at a neighbor’s property after she got out of her owner’s yard about five miles northeast of Burgaw Tuesday night.

Lieutenant Michael Ramsey, who heads the Animal Control unit for the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, said the dog’s owner, Brandon Craver, reported the incident at 7:18 p.m. Tuesday night.

The dog got loose from Craver’s house and went to a neighbor’s house nearby, according to Ramsey, where she was shot and killed. He said Craver saw someone unloading a gun with his dog lying motionless nearby.

A man named Landon Fearing posted a photo of the beagle, who he called Steppy, to his Facebook page late Tuesday night. He claimed the dog was shot by the owners of Dab’s restaurant, which is located about a half-mile southwest from Craver’s home on Croomsbridge Road.

“Well Steppy never thought I’d be burying you this early in your life,” Fearing wrote. “You were truly one of the good ones, a deer’s worst nightmare and just a joy to be around. I’m glad I could be the one to lay you to rest. You’ll be always remembered, have fun chasing them buck deers in the clouds.”

By early Thursday morning, Fearing’s post had been shared by 360 people.

“She was the best in my pack,” Craver said in a comment on the post. “She was like one of my kids.”

Craver’s ex-wife, Clerk of Superior Court for Pender County Elizabeth Craver, commented on the post that the 10-to-15 pound dog got out of the gate, accompanied by her sister, while their 10-year-old owner was trying to feed them.

“It was a cruel and uncalled for act and now the Justice system will have to take over,” she later emailed Port City Daily, noting that she could not give any details of an ongoing case that involved her family.

On Wednesday, the Dab’s restaurant Facebook page included a post that said it would be closed as “we are dealing with a very sad, disturbing and unpleasant situation that occurred at our home yesterday evening.”

“Daniel and I were inside at the time and did not have any direct involvement, but we are trying to be open and handle this the correct and best way,” according to the post. “To be brief, an animal was attacking our ducks, and since we have already lost two to coyotes, a friend who was over picked up the shotgun. Very unfortunately, it turned out to be someone’s hunting dog.”

By 4 p.m. Wednesday, the post had been removed. The page lists Daniel and Abigail Uribe as the general managers and culinary team of the restaurant.

In a response to a Facebook message, someone replied on behalf of the restaurant, saying they removed the post because “the harassment and comments were getting out of hand.”

“[M]y husband and I were not directly involved until after the fact,” she said, although she did not identify herself. “We are extremely upset about the whole situation. We contacted the Sheriff’s Department and have cooperated with their investigation.”

Ramsey said he told Craver that if he wanted to prosecute against the shooter, who has not been identified, “he can go to the magistrate’s office to take out a criminal summons and take the guy to court.”

“Normally what I tell people: If you’re a victim, and you had the evidence you needed to prosecute the case, I’d send you to the magistrate’s office,” Ramsey said. “Because there’s absolutely nothing I can testify to.”

This article has been updated to include the comments provided by Elizabeth Craver.

Send comments and tips to the reporter at or (970) 413-3815

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