Angry Neighbors Battle It Out With Signs
From Associated Press
June 16, 2006 8:13 PM EDT
COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. - A feud between neighbors that began over roving pets has sparked a biting dialogue using homemade signs along the side of the road. Pam and Ron Castle say their neighbor, Larry Shrock, shot their beagle mix named Jake on June 1 and burned his body in an incinerator.
According to a police report, the Shrocks said they asked the Castles to keep their dogs at home, worried the animals would try to attack rabbit hutches on their property. When the dogs returned, Shrock told police he shot one of the animals. No charges have been filed.
Unsatisfied with the response from police and his neighbors, Ron Castle used red paint to write on 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood board: "My Neighbor, Larry Shrock, House on Left up on Hill (arrow) Shot My Dog, Then Burned It." He added an expletive to the sign he posted alongside the road near his house.
"I didn't know what else to do," he said. "What can I do to this man that has caused me so much grief?"
On June 7, after a second neighbor complained Shrock shot another dog, Castle took out the paint again.
"Mowrey Road Dog Killer Ahead On Left, Two Shot and Killed, One Burned."
The Shrocks fought back with blue paint and a sign of their own.
"Neighbor's Dog Killed My Pet Bunnies, Scared My Granddaughter. I Warned Him Twice."
Castle disagreed, and penned a third sign, which denied the rabbit allegations.
Shrock has since taken down his sign, but Castle's three messages remain visible to eastbound drivers who crest a small hill in the community of about 7,800 residents about 20 miles northwest of Fort Wayne.
"My wife and I fear for our lives," Shrock told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.