New Hampshire animal rights activists outraged over the "emergency euthanasia" of a dog named Bruno earlier this year face an uphill battle to have the practice of shooting old, sick, or dangerous pets outlawed, the AP reports. New Hampshire is one of 27 states with no laws against it, but state Rep. John Tholl tells the AP that a ban on putting down animals with a gunshot is unlikely there. It is a common practice in rural areas, he says, and medical euthanasia is expensive. Nonetheless, the organizers of Justice for Bruno are lobbying state officials to make it a felony to fatally shoot a pet in New Hampshire. A petition on change.org in support of such legislation had more than 36,000 signatures as of Monday.
"In this day and age, it's just not a responsible way to euthanize a pet," Katie Treamer, a founder of Justice for Bruno, tells the AP. Bruno's owner, Ryan Landry, shot the dog four times in September. WMUR reported at the time that Landry told police the year-and-a-half-old dog bit his children, and that he'd first tried to give the dog away on Facebook before ultimately deciding it would be safer to put him down. However, Treamer says, Landry could have taken another route: returning the animal to the shelter from which he was adopted, which could have been done with no questions asked. Landry, who was not charged in the incident, declined to speak to the AP.