NEWBURYPORT — A Seabrook man charged with intimidating a witness or police official in connection with the shooting of a dog in Salisbury in February saw the charge continued without a finding for 11 months during his appearance Monday in Newburyport District Court.

George Dow, 78, was summonsed to court shortly after a relative, Jacob Dow, allegedly shot a neighbor’s husky and then, after strangling it death, buried the dog in his backyard. Another relative, Donald Dow, was charged with a firearms offense and misleading a police investigation.

In addition to two counts of cruelty to animals, Jacob Dow was charged with malicious killing or injury to a domestic animal, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, unlawful possession of a shotgun, possessing ammunition without a Firearms Identification Card, and misleading a police investigation.

Cases against Jacob and Donald Dow remain open.

During the 11 months, George Dow must stay away from the victim and cannot have any firearms. The dog’s owner, Emily Meattey, moved away earlier this year, according to an Essex County prosecutor.

Jacob Dow was ordered by Superior Court Judge Thomas Dreschler to remain at home around the clock and wear a GPS monitoring device. He was also ordered to remain employed, stay away from and have no contact with the victim, surrender all firearms, and possess no firearms, according to an Essex County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson.

Meattey’s two dogs, Zoe and Grizzly, escaped from their Dock Lane home on Feb. 23 about 9 a.m. and headed toward the Dow family’s property, according to an Essex County prosecutor.

Zoe then attacked and killed a duck on the property. That prompted Jacob Dow to grab an unregistered shotgun from the home and fire a round of birdshot at the dog. The blast hit Zoe in the chest and felled her. But when Jacob Dow checked the dog, he discovered she was still alive. He then got onto his knees and strangled Zoe until she was dead.

Salisbury police Sgt. Jeremy Kelley wrote that after the dogs escaped, Meattey went outside to find them. Aided by sightings posted on a community Facebook page, and motorists, Meattey tracked the dogs to the Dows’ property.

After what sounded like a shotgun blast, Grizzly came running from the Dow property but ran past Meattey. She then called police.

Kelley and Officer Bruce Dow (not related to the Dows) spoke to Meattey at the adjacent Marie’s Restaurant. She told them of the shot and that Zoe was missing.

Kelley spoke to the three Dows and asked if they saw the dog. All three said they had not seen the dog nor heard the shot. Officer Dow was told that one of the Dows’ ducks was found dead.

A few hours later, Kelley returned to the Dows’ home and asked again if they knew what happened to Meattey’s dog. Jacob Dow continued to deny any shooting or seeing a dog. A day later, police spoke to the property owner, Russell Dow, who was away at the time of the incident.

Russell Dow told police that a dog may be on his property and that if “they want the dog back I will see what I can do about it. After that comment we were now confident that the dog was on the property somewhere,” Kelley wrote in his report.

Suspicion fell on Jacob Dow after officers learned he had used a .410 shotgun to shoot woodchucks in the garden. Russell then led officers to a place out back where the dog had been buried.

Police noticed the dog’s chest had injuries consistent with birdshot. Zoe was then transported to a local veterinary hospital for examination, according to Kelley’s report.

Jacob and Donald Dow went to the police station to be interviewed. During the interview, Jacob Dow told officers he found the dog with a pet duck in its mouth and shot it with birdshot. Seeing the dog was still alive, he choked it to death.

Jacob Dow then told Kelley he did not want the dog to suffer and that he choked the dog to “put it out of its misery.”

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008. 

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