Kenny Woodburn posing with Tank after he had ben shot
A single mom and her four-year old daughter are grieving the loss of a family member. And a bunch of kids at a day-care center are grieving the loss of a friend. On Wednesday, March 12th, Tank, a dog owned by Richele Ince and her daughter, was shot and killed by a neighbor, Kenneth Woodburn in the backyard of his Ridge home. The case is under investigation by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department and St. Mary’s Animal Control. Animal cruelty is now a felony in the state of Maryland.
The incident has become viral on Facebook after Woodburn, 29, posted that if the dog came into his yard “Hey going to dye today” (sic). After the dog was shot, he posted a picture of himself with the dead dog on his lap. Sheriff Tim Cameron told the Bay Net he has gotten calls from outside the area from people who have seen that picture and are incensed about it.
Tank was a pit bull/lab mix. Richele purchased him almost a year ago for her daughter’s fourth birthday. She said he was a playful puppy with not a mean bone in his body. She said he never bit anyone and just wanted to play with other dogs. In fact Tank had become a mascot of the day-care center that is on the same dirt lane that the Woodburn and Ince homes are located just off Route 5 in Ridge. Tank is now buried at that day care center
Ince, 21, was at work at her job at Walmart when a relative called to say Tank had been let outside and didn’t return. Concerned that he had left the property she purchased a runner for him. When she got home she learned from her day-care provider that Tank had been shot.
Ince believes that Tank was ambling over to the day care center when he crossed into Woodburn’s yard. She said she has been told that Woodburn lured Tank onto the property with treats before he shot him although there are reportedly no witnesses other than Woodburn to the shooting.
Woodburn alleged on Facebook that the Tank “charged me.” Ince, however, points out that Tank was shot in the back which she says is an indication that Tank was going away from Woodburn when he was shot. Woodburn also owned an older dog but there was no allegation that Tank attacked that dog.
Woodburn reportedly lives part-time at the Ridge home and part-time at another location with his girlfriend. Ince said that Woodburn never talked to her at all about any concerns about Tank going on his property, but she says he knew who Tank belonged to. She said she did not see his Facebook warning about Tank.
Over at the day care center, where Tank hung out and played with the kids, one of the children was so distraught that he laid on Tank’s grave in the rain mourning the loss.
Tank was purchased a short time after Ince’s boyfriend who is in the Air Force was deployed to Afghanistan and he never had a chance to see the dog that was so important a part of the Ince family. Ince is the granddaughter of the late Rick Ince, who owned Rick’s Marine in Scotland. Her boyfriend is due home on leave next week.
Both St. Mary’s County Animal Control Supervisor Tony Malaspina and Sheriff Cameron say they are conducting investigations and should have the results soon. Cameron told the Bay Net that if any charges are warranted they would be turned over to the state’s attorney’s office. State’s Attorney Rick Fritz said he had just been made aware of the incident and would look into it.
Attempts to contact Woodburn through Facebook were not returned.
Woodburn was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy last October for a number of charges, including driving while impaired and suspended, possession of marijuana and possession of an unregistered shotgun. In St. Mary’s County District Court on January 23rd, the state dropped most of the charges and Woodburn pled guilty to driving while impaired for which he was given Probation before Judgment. He also pled guilty to Theft under $1,000 and was given a suspended 60-day jail term and ordered to pay restitution. An apparently unrelated charge against Woodburn of negligent driving in a case brought by the Maryland State Police is still pending.
Woodburn also pled guilty in 2010 to hunting without a license and was fined $277.50 and $22.50 court costs. He also pled guilty in 2012 to operating a motor vehicle without a seat belt.
The following is the link to the Bay Net story about Woodburn’s arrest in October:
An internet petition page called Justice for Tank has been established calling on the state’s attorney to file charges against Woodburn. That site has 2,000 signers as of Tuesday afternoon. It can be accessed at : http://www.thepetitionsite.com/535/724/490/justice-for-tank/