Suspect Arrested in Hunting Dog Shootings

Travis Leonard Rolan

NC General Statute 14-360(b) – If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony.

Investigators with the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with law enforcement officers from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, filed felony charges Wednesday morning against Travis Leonard Rolan, age 38, who is accused of New Year’s Eve shootings, which killed three Walker Hounds, and injured a fourth canine.

The incident happened in a remote, and mostly wooded area off Upper Neck Road near Mesic while hunters John Paul Jones and Justin Long were using their dogs to flush out deer. All of the dogs were wearing GPS-enabled collars. Jones’s son was the first to suspect a problem, noting from his GPS-tracking monitor that two of the dogs suddenly stopped, with no follow-on movements.

According to Pamlico County Animal Control officer Berkley Hill, a tense confrontation between the alleged shooter and dog-owning irate hunters ensued, only quelled as law enforcement officers arrived to sort things out.

Rolan was arrested mid-day on Wednesday, and booked without incident at the Pamlico County Detention Center. His first court appearance is set for Friday, January 13, at the Bayboro Courthouse.

Reached at his New Bern office, District Attorney Scott Thomas, whose staff will prosecute the case, released the following statement: “These are four Class H felonies carrying maximum punishment of 8 to 19 months imprisonment for each count.”