Hans Blankenburg was sitting by his trailer with a loaded double-barrel shotgun when a dog ran towards him on July 25, 2009.
He was cooking bacon on a grill at the Rose Lake campsite near Ross River, on the South Canol Road, when the dog surprised him.
Blankenburg yelled and the dog stopped in its tracks just a few metres away and crouched down. After Blankenburg yelled a second time, the dog ran back to Robin Wilk and Diedra Etzel, who were camping nearby.
“The dog was going to steal my meat and piss and shit all over camp,” Blankenburg would later tell police. He was in a rage over the animal.
So he walked over to his neighbours, who had introduced themselves earlier, and told them he would shoot the dog.
He pointed his shotgun, which only needed the action closed for it to fire, at Wilk. Wilk and Etzel had their infant son with them, as well as Etzel’s mother, who owns the dog.
Only Blankenburg remembers qualifying his threat by stating he would shoot the dog if it entered his camp.
It wasn’t long before RCMP were on the scene, and a court case took place in June this year.
Last week, the Yukon court handed in its decision on the Rose Lake incident.
Blankenburg has a “severe aversion” to dogs, wrote Justice John Faulkner.
He overreacted to the dog’s perceived attack, and since the dog ran away after being yelled at, Blankenburg had no need to march towards its owners with a loaded weapon, wrote Faulkner.
Blankenburg, who attends the camp location often, also has no reason to carry a loaded shotgun at his side at a public campsite, Faulkner decided.
“His perceived need to protect himself by keeping a loaded shotgun at hand strikes me as a little over the top,” he wrote.
Due to Blankenburg’s unnecessary reaction and inconsistent testimony, Faulkner found Blankenburg guilty of threatening to kill a dog and pointing a firearm at Wilk, he wrote on September 10. Blankenburg has yet to be sentenced.
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