Kotzebue Man Charged With Animal Cruelty For Shooting Dogs

A Kotzebue man is behind bars and faces a felony animal cruelty charge after State Troopers say he killed four sled dogs while drunk.

Alaska State Troopers say 42-year-old Carl Henry Jr. showed up drunk at a family member’s cabin about 23 miles east of Kotzebue around 7:30 on the night on April 9.

The family member got in a fight with Henry, who Troopers say then left the cabin.

Photo of Kotzebue. (Photo by Neal Herbert/National Park Service, Alaska Region)
Photo of Kotzebue. (Photo by Neal Herbert/National Park Service, Alaska Region)

That family member then went out to feed a lot of sled dogs, only to find blood on the ground and four dogs missing.

The family member told Troopers Henry shot the four dogs and then dragged them away on his snowmachine. The family member told police they feared what Henry might do if he returned. Troopers say the family member then walked the two miles from the cabin to Camp Ivik to call for help.

When officers responded around 11:30 that night they found a second man—whose name is being withheld because he has not been charged with a crime—who told Troopers he and Henry had been drinking.

That’s when the man said Henry became angry that the dogs wouldn’t stop barking. The man told Troopers Henry began to “shoot his gun up in the air to scare them to shut up.” When the dogs wouldn’t quiet down, the man said Henry shot four of them.

Troopers found several dogs tied to trees, but noted four were missing. Troopers said Wednesday they were not able to find the remains of the dogs Henry is accused of shooting, but said all four are presumed dead. The dogs were worth about $500 apiece, the family member told Troopers.

Troopers weren’t able to find Henry at the scene and subsequently issued a warrant for his arrest. A Monday Trooper dispatch shows he was arrested by a Village Public Safety Officer in Koyuk—about 142 miles South of Koetzbue—on Sunday afternoon. Court records show he was taken to Nome before being formally charged in Kotzebue on Wednesday.

Henry faces two felony charges, one for criminal mischief and another for cruelty to animals. He faces a third misdemeanor charge for assault.  His bail was set at $2,500 and requires a court-approved custodian.

Matthew Smith is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.

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