Amid claims on social media suggesting that a dog named after President Donald Trump was shot dead in Minnesota due to political reasons, law enforcement officials clarified this week that politics had nothing to do with the dog's killing.
According to a report from Newsweek, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office issued a statement that explained how the alleged shooter, who has yet to be identified, was "legally protecting their livestock on their private property" when they killed the dog.
"Facts have been misrepresented on social media sites," the statement read. "Unfortunately, people are now posting multiple threats of violence towards citizens in the area and justifying the threats based on these inaccurate posts on social media."
Per the Daily Globe, the dog named Donald Trump belonged to Lakefield, Minnesota, man Randall Thom, who took to Facebook on Monday to mourn the loss of his "best friend." In the post, Thom alleged that the dog was shot four times by a neighbor, who "never checked" if the animal was actually dead.
"When I found him about midnite [sic] in a cornfield he was actually still warm. The b****** let Donald suffer for over 14 hrs. Please just pray for my sabity [sic]. I LOVED YOU SO MUCH DONALD."As noted by Newsweek, Thom's profile features several images from Trump rallies, with his cover photo displaying the words "Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong." This is a reference to the president's longtime associate, who was indicted last month on several charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 election. In its report, Newsweek noted that multiple Facebook users insinuated that the dog named after Trump might have been shot because of his name. In relation to this, one of Thom's friends reportedly went as far as to update a GoFundMe campaign page by claiming the animal was shot by a "hateful Democrat."
Others commenting on Thom's post also recommended that the man take revenge on the suspected shooter, with one user, in particular, suggesting that he shoot the neighbor "eight times."
Despite the above suggestions that Thom's dog was shot in relation to the fact it was named after Donald Trump, the above reports suggest that neighbors had long complained about the Minnesota man's dogs. In all, there have reportedly been 14 complaints submitted to authorities, alleging that the dogs would "run loose" and attack or kill other animals and, in one case, bite a person in need of medical attention, among other accusations. Furthermore, Minnesota court records show that Thom was convicted in 2015 on a petty misdemeanor in relation to "dogs and cats at large."