A man charged with shooting his neighbour's St. Bernard is guilty of illegally killing the animal.

lianne and bentley

Lianne Price with her St. Bernard, Bentley. (Courtesy: Fiona Price)

Eugene Krawchuk, 59, is guilty of shooting the dog without lawful excuse, but not guilty of using a firearm carelessly. Eugene and his wife, Laurie, are both guilty of possessing a firearm without a license. 

Judge Marty Irwin said he didn't believe Krawchuk's evidence in the case stemming from an incident that took place in April 2013.

"The dog was merely trespassing," Irwin said. Eugene Krawchuk had less drastic alternatives available, he said. 

"He went out with the sole intent of shooting the dog." 

As the judge went through the decision, Krawchuk slowly slumped forward in his chair. 

Canine shot

The dog, an eight-month old St. Bernard, belonged to the Price family, neighbours of the Krawchuks in the Rural Municipality of Grant, near Vonda, Sask., about 50 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

Court heard that the dog, Bentley, ran into a pasture owned by the Krawchuks and that Lianne Price, then 16, was also on the land trying to coax the dog back. 

bentley

Eugene Krawchuk admitted to shooting his neighbours' St. Bernard, Bentley. (Credit: Fiona Price)

According to the Crown prosecutor's presentation, Krawchuk — who saw the dog and retrieved his rifle — aimed over the girl's head and fired, killing the dog.

The Krawchuk's lawyer, however, said the shooting was done in a safe way and for a valid reason.

Irwin said he could only find "three possible sins" that the dog committed.

One, that it had trespassed on the Krawchuk land. Two, that "it was owned by a Price." The two families had a simmering feud. Or, the dog's trespassing forced Krawchuk to leave his home and interrupted his online game of Candy Crush.

Irwin said none of these reasons justified killing the dog.

Irwin sentenced Laurie Krawchuk to 12 months probation and gave her a conditional discharge.

Eugene Krawchuk was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. He must also donate $500 to the SPCA and $800 to the teenage owner of the dog,

That's how much she had saved up to buy the puppy.