On Saturday, October 15, 2016, at approximately 1530 hours, Trooper First Class Christopher Cummings from the New Hampshire State Police Troop B Barracks in Bedford responded to a residence in Mason for a report of a neighbor who had shot a canine.
TFC. Cummings spoke to the owner of the canine who stated she was on her own property with a friend near the property line she shared with her neighbor, 38 year old Colton Skorupan when they heard a single gunshot. The homeowner called to her dogs, and seconds later when her dogs came to her, she noticed that her dog Travis had sustained a gunshot wound to the area of his back above his shoulders. The bullet wound was a “through and through”, entering through one side of Travis’s back and exiting out the other side without striking anything vital to Travis homeowner believes Travis was on her property when he was shot, citing that her property is fenced in and that Travis would not have been able to respond to her as quickly as he had considering the gunshot wound he had sustained.
TFC. Cummings spoke to Mr. Skorupan stated that he was on his own property with his six year old son when Travis began to run toward him and his son while barking. Mr. Skorupan stated that he was concerned for his safety and the safety of his son, causing him to draw his pistol and fire at Travis. He stated he was not aware he had struck Travis until the owner of the dog confronted him about the wound Travis had sustained. Mr. Skorupan stated that he has had issues with his neighbor’s dogs in the past and described them as aggressive.
The area where the shooting occurred is rural. There’s an estimated 500 foot discrepancy between where Mr. Skorupan states he shot at Travis compared to where the homeowner thinks Travus was when he was shot. TFC. Cummings checked both areas for any type of evidence which could have confirmed the location of where Travis might have been when he was shot but was unable to locate anything due to the heavily wooded nature of the area.
Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, TFC. Cummings applied for an arrest warrant charging Mr. Skorupan with Cruelty to Animals contrary to N.H. RSA 644:8. The warrant was reviewed by a judge and subsequently granted.
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Mr. Skorupan turned himself in to TFC. Cummings at the State Police Troop B Barracks in Bedford where he was placed under arrest for the Cruelty to Animals charge, a class B felony. Mr. Skorupan was released on personal recognizance bail and must appear in the 9th Circuit – District Division – Milford Court on January 23, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. to answer his charge.