'As a community even, we're concerned about our own personal safety of course, and then our own dogs,' one Redmond resident said.
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The shooting death of a dog in the Cline Butte Recreation Area on New Year's Eve sparked concerns about dog safety. The Richardson family's dog was shot four times and killed in the recreation area, near Juniper Trailhead.
A resident in nearby Eagle Crest said Tuesday he’s been hiking with his dogs for 5 1/2 years, up to the Cline Butte quarry and the surrounding area.
"As a community even, we’re concerned about our own personal safety of course, and then our own dogs," Cliff Schroeder said. "Is this person going to show up again and something like this happen again? We just don’t have enough information to know. It’s a little unnerving.”
Stephen Richardson told NewsChannel 21 they were walking their dogs in a designated no-shooting zone near Juniper Trailhead, as identified on a Bureau of Land Management map shared with him later.
However, it's not known if the shooter was a hunter. The area where the dog was shot is not a common hunting location.
Also, there are no leash laws in that area.
The BLM map indicates lands east of Barr Road are closed to firearm discharge, unless legally hunting, while the Tumalo Canal Historic Area and smaller parcels along the Deschutes River are closed to all firearm discharges. Some areas on the map are closed to shooting seasonally, Feb. 1 to August 31.
One woman told NewsChannel21 how she discovered her dog got caught in a baited metal trap near the the Horse Ridge Trailhead east of Bend.
Makenna Tague, a Central Oregon resident, said she was running on the trail with her dog about half a mile from the trailhead. As she was running, she said her dog would frequently run to her and then away. However, at one point she heard him yelp loudly and followed his voice to find his foot in a baited trap that she estimated was 30 to 40 feet away from the trail.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, traps should not be placed within 50 feet of well-established trails. However, the definition of a "well-established trail" is unclear.
The hunting trap did have a ribbon on it to indicate danger, and ODFW reported that it is, in fact, trapping season.
However, that brings into question whether people are aware of what to look out for.
For general rules of safety, ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy encourages dog owners to make sure their dogs are under voice control if they're not on a leash.
And while hunting concerns are voiced by many dog owners, she said it's important for people to protect their animals from interacting with game, which can create an opportunity for injury.
Schroeder offers advice to dog owners everywhere.
"We need to be vigilant. We just, unfortunately -- we need to be on the alert and looking for suspicious activity, or you know, an unusual vehicle being out there, or something that just doesn’t set right," Schroeder said.