A domestic situation between a couple of pet owners resulted in the death of a parakeet and a dog, and the arrest of a Clearlake Oaks man on multiple charges.
Clearlake Oaks is a small town located on the central eastern shore of Clear Lake in Lake County. A unique feature of the community is a neighborhood called “The Keys” – a 1960’s subdivision featuring a series of canals that run behind the homes and provide direct access to the lake via boat from the houses that back up to them. It was one of these homes along Shoreview Drive that Sheriff’s deputies were sent to on reports of a woman screaming last Friday morning at 9:15 . According to Steve Brooks of the Sheriff’s Department, a deputy searching for the problem in the neighborhood heard a female voice cry out “Stop it! Don’t!” He knocked on the door, and the screaming stopped suddenly. He continued to knock and identify himself, with no response other than silence.
With the help of another deputy, and with concern for the safety of whomever was inside, they forced entry into the small home. They found a man and woman inside, and the woman had blood on her pant legs. They asked if she was injured, and she said no, the blood was from her dog, which was now dead in a boat behind the house in the canal. The man, 52-year-old Dennis Michael Hector, had blood on his hands and admitted that he had killed the dog.
After finding the dog, dead, wet and in an aluminum boat out back, the deputies pieced together the story. The woman lived with Hector in the house, and he recently allowed her to bring her dog in. But he warned her that the dog had better not bother his pet parakeet, which was allowed to fly freely throughout the house. He claimed that he told her that if the dog bothered the bird, he would take action. He even said that his girlfriend agreed that he could kill the dog if it harmed the parakeet. And sure enough, the dog viewed the parakeet as fair game, and ended up killing the bird.
Hector furiously took action against the canine, and beat the dog with his fists. The woman told deputies that she screamed at him to leave the poor dog alone, but could not stop him. She said that after the dog was dead, Hector threw it into the canal behind the house. She was the one who retrieved it and placed it into the boat. When the deputy had knocked on the door in response to the screams, she said he had prevented her from answering. She also denied ever giving him permission to hurt her dog. Hector expressed that is should be OK to kill a dog if it had killed another pet. He was also found to be under the influence of a controlled substance and in possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dennis Hector was arrested, but apparently did not go quietly, as deputies added resisting arrest to the charges of maliciously and intentionally torturing or killing an animal, subjecting an animal to needless suffering or unnecessary cruelty, possession of a controlled substance and being under the influence. They added destroying or concealing evidence for throwing the dog into the canal. He was booked on those charges at the County’s Hill Road Correctional Facility with bail set at $100,000. The size and breed of the dog was not released by the sheriff’s department.