Slain dog sparks controversy, threats

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

The killing of a Chiefland pitbull has sparked a bit of local controversy and has one man fearing retaliation from members of the community.

"In my opinion, it was fixin' to attack me," said Chiefland resident Richard Gerald about the dog, a red nose pitbull named Mason he killed with a machete chop to the head in his yard Sunday afternoon.

The incident was posted on Facebook by the dog's owners, Ashlie and Adam Cowart, complete with graphic photos of the dog's head wound. Gerald said he's read and received more than 500 threats because of the incident.

"Some of them said they were going to chop me in the head," Gerald said on the phone Tuesday afternoon.

Ashlie Cowart, recalling the event, said Monday, "Mason runs back in the yard. I can see from a distance something is wrong. (His head was) literally split from the center of his eyes all the way to the back of his head. It was the most horrific thing I'd ever seen."

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