Deputies investigating mysterious hunting dog deaths

Deputies investigating mysterious hunting dog deaths

COVE CITY - Craven County deputies are investigating who could've been behind several threatening letters sent to a Cove City family and the deaths of 5 of their hunting dogs.

In October, the Hopkins family started receiving letters threatening their dogs. The letter read as follows: "If you can not keep your dogs [quiet], we will."

Shortly after the letter showed up in the family's mailbox, a hunting dog started acting weird and later died. Since the first dog's death, the family has received two extra letters threatening legal action and then one on the grandmother's car, after someone had busted out the front windshield. In total, 5 dogs have died mysteriously. The most recent death happened on Sunday. The family had 10 dogs, but replaced 4 of the ones that died.

"I take it that it's just someone in the neighborhood that just has something against deer hunters and they just singled me out," said the dogs' owner, Donald Hopkins. "Because I am not the only deer hunter in the neighborhood."

Craven County Deputies have been out to the family's house at least 3 times to investigate the deaths.

"You know, threatening me is one thing, but when you start threatening my dogs and my mother-in-law, which she has nothing to do with it, it's just pushing it too far," Hopkins said.

Deputies said whoever is responsible could face a number of charges, such as felony cruelty to animals, misdemeanor injury to personal property, and communicating threats.

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