A Grassy Key man shot his neighbor’s border collie to death after watching two dogs attack his cat to the point that they had the cat’s head in their mouths.
The shooter, Drew Caterson, 55, appeared “visibly shaken,” when Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on Dorsett Drive at about 3:41 p.m. Monday. Two other men —including the dog’s owner — were on the scene and looked distraught, police said.
No arrests were made and prosecutors said they won’t pursue any charges.
“I saw it as a tragic situation, but I did not see a criminal offense,” said Assistant District Attorney Jon Byrne. “It’s a tragedy all around.”
Caterson walked deputies through the incident that started when two of his neighbor’s dogs appeared on his property and began to chase his two cats around the back yard. One cat got away but a calico named Pirate was over-matched by the two dogs.
“Drew stated one of his cats was able to get away while the other cat was in the mouths of both dogs,” according to the incident report. “Drew was extremely distraught over the incident.”
Caterson said he couldn’t get the dogs to release his cat. So he went and got his Springfield XD 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun out of his van.
“The two dogs were trying to rip apart the cat,” Byrne said.
Caterson shot Jackson the dog twice with no luck in getting the dog to retreat, the report states. He tried to use a stick to separate the dogs from the cat, but it didn’t work and he ended up being bitten on the thumb by one dog.
Caterson finally fired a third time, this time into the dog’s head.
“The cat was released and the K-9 collapsed,” deputies reported. The other dog ran away.
Earlier, Jackson’s owner, Robert Davis, 52, went outside to call his dogs in. Only one came back. A neighbor told him he heard a loud noise followed by the cry of an animal.
Davis approached Caterson’s property and found Jackson on the ground.
Pirate, who was 10, later died of injuries that included a punctured lung.
A witness named in the report declined comment. Davis couldn’t be reached. A woman who answered Caterson’s phone said he wouldn’t take a reporter’s call.
“It’s over,” she said.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen