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Hubbard County men get jail terms in two dog shooting cases

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The second of two Hubbard County men charged in an animal cruelty case last fall has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Dustin Lee Kako, 22, pled guilty to Third Degree Criminal Damage to Property Monday for shooting a yellow Lab through the torso last fall with a bow and arrow.

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The Lab, owned by Robert and Kristin Evavold, who live in a rural subdivision near Menahga, underwent emergency surgery at The Ark Animal Hospital to save his life.

Co-defendant Andrew Eugene Leece James, 23, entered a plea April 5 to Fourth Degree Damage to Property in the firearm shooting of another Lab belonging to Evavold's neighbor. James received 15 days in jail. James will be on supervised probation for one year.

Kako was sentenced to two years of probation. Both men were ordered to pay fines and restitution in the case. James' amounted to $785, including $400 of restitution.

Kako's is yet to be determined, but Jacob the Lab's vet bills are nearly $900. Judge Paul Rasmussen also fined him $135.

The shootings ignited a furor throughout the county as animal lovers squared off against rural residents frustrated by their neighbors' dogs and claiming a legal right to shoot trespassing animals.

District judges ordered both defendants to have no contact with the victims and to stay away from their portion of the neighborhood, a horseshoe-shaped loop that the defendants and victims all live on.

For Kristen Evavold, the day was bittersweet.

"I've never been through anything like this before," she said in court. "You expect to lose your pets through age," but not through "vicious offenses."

Evavolds' other lab, Kristen said, was pulled out of his kennel at night around the time of the shootings of the other two Labs and beaten to death.

No charges were filed in that case. Duke the Lab died of massive injuries a couple days after the beating. She urged Judge Rasmussen to hand down a harsher sentence.

Both Kako and James will be allowed to serve their time on work release.

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