Man Who Claimed Dog Shot Itself On Trial Ryan Hayes Testifies Thursday http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/18748618/detail.html POSTED: 5:32 am MST February 19, 2009 GOLDEN, Colo. -- A jury in Golden is now deciding if a Lakewood, Colo., man is lying or if a Jack Russell terrier actually did shoot itself in the head while playing with a loaded gun. Ryan Hayes, 49, is on trial for aggravated animal cruelty, reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a weapon while drunk. Hayes took the stand Thursday morning. Hayes said the loaded .357-caliber pistol fired as he tried to get it away from his neighbor's dog, Patches. Patches' owner, Marlys Duggan, said she was visiting Hayes with her dog in July 2008. Duggan said Hayes had been drinking and had stopped at the refrigerator for another beer before going to his room. Patches followed him and the next thing she heard was a loud boom, she said. She found her dog on the floor of the bedroom, with a gunshot wound to the head, right between the eyes. An animal control officer testified that Hayes gave several different versions of what happened. The first version was that he didn't know happened and another was that the gun discharged while the dog played with it on the bedroom floor. Another version given was that Hayes was holding the gun when the dog ran into the bedroom. The gun discharged as he turned toward the dog, Hayes had said. Defense attorney Walter Gerash said Hayes was horrified after the shooting, and that Hayes had a tender relationship with the dog.