Dog shooting judgment put off until July 5

Stephen Brun
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Prince County Court House, Summerside

SUMMERSIDE – A Roseville man who shot and killed his neighbours’ dog will find out in three weeks if he’ll spend time in jail.

Joseph Benjamin Muncey Clements, 68, pleaded guilty last month to single counts of willfully causing the death of a dog, careless use and unsafe storage of firearms and damage to property.

On May 9, Clements’ next-door neighbour Matthew Ramsay and his young son returned home to find their two-year-old pitbull-mix shot to death on their kitchen floor.

Ramsay told police that, earlier the same day, Clements warned him to get rid of the dog or he would shoot it. Ramsay said Clements seemed to be intoxicated when he made the threat.  

Police were able to locate Clements that evening and took him into custody. He appeared to have been drinking at the time of his arrest.

Clements later told police the dog had almost bit him on more than one occasion in the past.

On the day in question, Clements said he heard the dog barking inside the house, waited until Ramsay and his son left the residence, took a shotgun from his vehicle and shot the dog once in the head through the kitchen window.

Arguments on sentencing were made Tuesday in Provincial Court.

Crown attorney John Diamond recommended a sentence in the range of six to 12 months.

“Mr. Clements committed a heinous act here. His actions were maliciously directed,” Diamond said. “I can’t imagine more serious factual circumstances.”

Defence attorney John Maynard had informed the court in May that he intended to argue a jail sentence would be, “both inappropriate and unnecessary.”

Tuesday, he asked Judge Jeff Lantz to consider either probation or a period of house arrest, given that Clements has no prior criminal record.

Maynard also called Clements’ wife to the stand to provide background as to why her husband lived in fear of the Ramsays’ pitbull.

Judge Jeff Lantz said he didn’t want to rush to judgment in the case, and adjourned sentencing until July 5.

Geographic location: Roseville

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  • ERROLL SMITH
    June 22, 2011 - 13:40

    To Andrew & all who allow "wiggle" room for what this man did leave me amazed,ashamed & dumb founded.Think about it for just a moment... Clements waited for this family to leave or so he assumed everyone had left the house(not thinking that an out of town guest or perhaps grandma was visiting) grabbed his shotgun,walked up to the window,got this dogs attention & fired,destroying it's head,all the while knowing this family (CHILD) would eventually return home to find this carnage on their kitchen floor...are you f#@king kidding me !!! Really,this is someting out of Deliverance...but then again,right.What a sad state we're in when this is condoned,even cheered by some.The world reads these posts & the likes of Clements & his supporters continue to make Prince Edward Island look like a some back mountain,inbred Province of hillbillies.Lantz send a message that we are not & lock this coward up.

  • Are you kidding
    June 22, 2011 - 10:36

    To Observer...The Article states the man was probably intoxicated and you think he knew for sure there was no one home?? Great judgement there. What an awful thing to have happen. I would like to see him get jail time, but knowing our judicial system...most likely a slap on the wrist.

  • Animal Lover
    June 22, 2011 - 09:02

    Who in the name of god thinks they have the right to kill someone else’s animal or mistreat any animal. There are so many helpless animals out there that are mistreated and I am glad to see that the province is taking this situation serious and is considering jail time. These animals learn there behavior from their owner, they only know what they are taught but again and again the animal is the one who suffers. I would have a pit-bull live with me anytime and growing up I had a dobby who I would ride on his back, run with him, lay with him and never once did that animal do anything but love me. Sure all animals are unpredictable but so are people!!! I am sick of hearing about animals being mistreated, all they want to do is please their owner, be loved and be taught how to act! If this guy who thinks it’s his right to kill animals was so concerned about his safety why did he not try other things, like call the Humane Society, a local vet, something just don’t kill an animal, especially a family pet. Dear god do you think the family was just going to get rid of their family pet, I am sure they loved that dog with all of their heart and he was a huge part of their family. Any good pet owner who put up a fight and do anything to keep their animal. There is all this talk about provinces banning certain breeds but there are also provinces who care about animals and are starting to put people behind bars for up to 10 years for sick things like dog fighting and animal cruelty. Please use this man as an example so helpless animals can begin to be treated well, not abused and killed because of their breed!!!!

  • Observer
    June 22, 2011 - 08:59

    The argument for pitbulls had been lost many times. This breed wouldn't be banned all over. The article also clearly states that the man made sure home residents were gone before he shot the dog that had shown aggressive behavior toward him on numerous occasions. Humane Society kills dogs like that all the time... I wouldn't want to see my taxes supporting jail time for this type of offence.

  • speedy
    June 22, 2011 - 08:47

    My God this is what he admitted to........took a shotgun from his vehicle and shot the dog once in the head through the kitchen window. What was he doing with a shotgun in his vehicle? It horrifies me to imagine him shooting a shotgun through the window, I would like to know what triggered his mind not just the gun.

  • Leo
    June 22, 2011 - 08:17

    Lets see here; He was intoxicated, He was using a fire arm, and he was shooting into someone's home.I can think of very little that is more dangerous. I would have a put bull live with me any day than live beside someone like that.

  • Mike
    June 22, 2011 - 07:30

    The pitbull was once known as the Nanny Dog because of its profound love and protection of children. There are no bad dogs just bad people like Muncey who hide behind shotguns . If Muncey was attacked or threatened by this dog there must have been a complaint at the police station or humane society previosly. I think henry Snow and the Resident should educate themselves before making general prejudice against an entire breed .I added a link for you. Its said you can judge a society by the way it treats their animals . If you condone this cowardly act what does it say about you. http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=676

  • Andrew
    June 22, 2011 - 07:25

    Re: ERROLL SMITH You don't know what he knew. Maybe he knew nobody was home, maybe he saw everybody leave. That doesn't make it alright, but it does factor in for sentencing. Re: Serious, come on, pitbulls whether trained to kill or not is an ongoing debate. That argument can be made. Staffordshire pitbulls were bred to kill, that's why they have to dominate other dogs. Anybody who doesn't know the real dangers pitbulls present to people when they snap are fools. No matter how well a dog is trained they can snap, even Labs, but when a pitbull snaps the consequences are far worse.

  • Andrew
    June 22, 2011 - 07:18

    I don't know the complete circumstances of this case, but I can say this. If it was a Labrador Retriever I would think the chances of this man being crazy, and a menace are higher. You can never rule out peoples fear of pitbull breeds though. Unlike other breeds, when pitbulls bite and attack, they don't let go until that thing stops moving or its torn to shreds. I'm a dog lover, and all dogs have chance of snapping,but I know when pitbulls snap the results are far scarier.

  • Consider himself lucky it wasn't my dog he shot
    June 22, 2011 - 07:14

    "Everyone is entitled to one mistake"??? I agree there are likely two sides to the story, however, taking a shotgun and shooting someone's family member (yes, a dog is a family member) cannot be taken lightly!! and to condone it because it was a pitbull...ridiculous!!! AND he was never attacked by the dog... he said he had almost been bitten... Im sure if any dog wanted to bite, they would... so what does he think the dog did that was an attempted bite??? Barking when he entered the property?? Obviously it was for good reason!!! This guy needs to be made an example of... remember the uproar of the snowmobilers and the fox?? This is worse... and I hope the judgement is too!!

  • cat lover
    June 22, 2011 - 07:11

    These dogs should be banned anyway, nothing but trouble. Pitbulls, rottweilers,dobermans, they are all the same. Mr Ramsey must believe he is a saint now does he. As far as the crown looking for 6-12 months, give your head a shake. Ya should be dealing more harshly with the drug dealers and pedophiles but you try to bully an old man. Give your head a shake.

    • leo
      June 22, 2011 - 08:19

      Lets not forget he is was an INTOXICATED old man with a GUN shooting into a home where a child lived.

    • Melpei
      June 22, 2011 - 11:42

      Dear CAT LOVER, it is people like you that are so ignorant and uneducated on these breeds. In your little world you assume these dogs are vicious and there is no place in the world for them. Maybe if you opened your eyes and started looking into how many other breeds of dogs have injured people and other animals you would realize these breeds are not as bad as you make them out to be. And there are a lot of well educated and loving families that have one of these breeds of dogs and have never had problems with them. It is not the dogs that are the problem it is the people who raise them. I have had my dog for six years and also a small breed dog as well and they are both very loving and well behaved because I took the time to train them properly. And no matter what this dog did not deserve to be shot he was doing nothing wrong. I imagine you will have a little rude comment towards this but I do not have time for such uneducated bull. Maybe we should stick to the story and not blame a poor innocent animal.

  • Henry Sow
    June 21, 2011 - 21:55

    I believe Muncie knew there was nobody home otherwise he wouldn't have shot the dog inside the home. The man is smarter than that. Maybe if people knew the real facts, they wouldn't be so quick to judge. Everybody is entitled to one mistake. Its not near as bad as someone impaired, behind the wheel and killing another person on the highway. Let's not get carried away with this.

  • ERROLL SMITH
    June 21, 2011 - 15:52

    Re:RESIDENT...are you indeed the moron you appear to be ? This coward Clements shot this defenceless animal it's own house,through a window with a shotgun,not knowing if there was a child at home or anyone else for that matter and you don't think jail time is called for ? You actually condone this type of behavior ? What is wrong with a certain percentage of the population in Prince County anyway ?

  • time flys
    June 21, 2011 - 15:30

    A civil suit should be brought against Clements . The dog owner should be rewarded with a large settlement.

  • Resident
    June 21, 2011 - 15:02

    Jail time for killing a dog? Is this a joke? Pitbulls are bread to kill. They are banned in most residential areas in the US and Canada. This act is nothing but a preventative measure. We do that in Afghanistan killing people, don't we? The guy should have filed a proper complaint and asked for ban of this breed from his neighborhood. Trespassing is the only offence in this case.

    • serious
      June 21, 2011 - 15:15

      Pitbulls are NOT bread to kill- People train them to kill. Trespassing???? He fired a weapon into a home you moron. I agree though with the jail time comment. a huge fine would be in order, maybe a contribution to an animal shelter.

    • Vonlevander
      June 21, 2011 - 15:22

      Bread is for sandwiches. Rants are for people who don't know what they're talking about.