From the Waterbury Republican American of August 14, 2008
State says killing of bear was justified
An Indian Trail Road homeowner was justified in killing a black bear Wednesday after it chased his dog and then acted threateningly toward him, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
James Galvin killed the female bear with three blasts from a 12-gauge shotgun while standing outside his front door about 7 a.m. Galvin said he fired after the bear stood on its hind legs, lowered itself and started toward him.
"I thought it was going to attack," Galvin said. "It was about 15 feet away from me."
The bear had been chasing Galvin's sheepdog, Geno, through the yard, but stopped when Galvin emerged from the front door. Galvin said he was awakened by Geno's barking and looked out the window to see the bear, which had two cubs nearby, pursuing the dog.
The shotgun was already loaded when he walked out the front door. Numerous bears have been spotted on his 51 acres of wooded property at the northern end of town, he said, and keeping the gun loaded was a way of being prepared in case a bear became aggressive.
"I had the gun by the door because I knew sooner or later something like this could happen," Galvin said. "If necessary, I wanted to have the ability to protect myself, my dog and my property."
DEP conservation officers who responded to Galvin's home declared the shooting justified after interviewing him, according to DEP wildlife biologist Paul Rego. Black bears, which are rarely aggressive, are a protected species under DEP regulations and shooting them is illegal, although they can be shot in circumstances like Galvin's, Rego said.
The bear weighed about 200 pounds and stood about five feet tall when it reared up, Galvin said. Its cubs had climbed up a tree before the shooting, Galvin said, probably as a result of Geno's barking.