A Stolen Dog, a Dead Cow, and the Justice System


The photo to the left shows Kojak, an American Staffordshire Terrier, and his friend Nathan King. Let’s get right to the point–this story ends badly for Kojak. He’s dead. And, his friend King almost ended up in court.

Kojak originally belonged to a woman who had to move out of the area. As a result, Kojak was given to King. They became good friends.

On September 27, 2014, King said, ‘I woke up to [my roommate] telling me [Kojak] was stolen and he’s already called the police but they wouldn’t do anything because he wasn’t the owner.”

King said his roommate had taken Kojak on a walk. The two saw the roommate’s former friend who had also known and cared for Kojak. According to his roommate, the friend, a woman, “jumped in some dude’s truck” with Kojak.

Law enforcement told King that because Kojak’s chip was in his former owner’s name, that woman would have to report him stolen.

Eventually, King was able to get the chip put in his name and report Kojak stolen. He blanketed the area with flyers where the woman lived that he believes took his pet.


The upper half of a flyer that Nathan King posted. The bottom half contains information about the woman he believes stole the dog. Unless she is charged, we will not name her.

King said he did everything he could to get Kojak back. “I called the prosecutor for months, I put hundreds of posters up everywhere,” he told us.

He even contacted this reporter asking for help. “Please,” he wrote. “I miss him terribly!” Because the woman wasn’t charged, we didn’t feel we could write about the story.

Nothing King did helped. Kojak was never returned to his home.

Then, this October, dogs attacked and injured a cow in eastern Humboldt. We wrote about how Rancher Wesley Moore had to put down his cow here.

On the 19th of October, 2015, King was contacted by a deputy. King said, “I got a call from the sheriff’s department..asking if I owned a dog named Kojak…[S]urprised,  I said yes but he’d been stolen over year ago.”

King said that the deputy told him, Kojak “had killed some livestock and also that I would be responsible for the livestock.” King eventually learned that he would be charged in the death of cow and that Moore could sue him in civil court in order to recoup the cost of the cow.

We attempted to learn more about the situation. We contacted Moore, the rancher, who told us that earlier in the year Kojak along with another dog had been involved with killing cattle belonging to another rancher. The dogs, Moore said, were known to have come from a home in the neighborhood. When confronted, the person at that house paid money for the cattle that were killed and promised that the dogs would be confined.

However, Moore said, that didn’t happen. “They were attacking my cattle on a regular basis but we could never catch ’em,” he explained. “For sure, 10 cows were missing.”

However, when Kojak and the other dog attacked Moore’s cow this October, they were caught in the act and put down.

Kojak’s chip was used to find his owner, Nathan King.

Eventually, charges were sent to the District Attorney’s Office. We contacted them and shared the information we had learned in the course of our investigation. On Saturday, December 12, the District Attorney, Maggie Fleming contacted us and told us that they had confirmed that King had reported his dog stolen. There would be no charges filed.

That’s good for King but, Kojak is still dead, at least one cow and maybe more are dead, too. But, in spite of all that happened, the woman accused of stealing Kojak is still free and we can’t name her.




  • Don’t name her-put a tail on her, and report everything she does thats more than an inch south of the law!

  • Mr King could name her in a post as the person he got the dog from in the first place.

  • I hope its ok for me to do this Kym!! Her name is Nicole Derek (or Derrick or something of that fashion)!! There is NO question if she did it or not, she admitted it to myself and Officer Parambo of E.P.D. Why she hasnt been charged?????

    • A picture is worth a thousand words. But, you naming her or posting about her could be considered slander. Tread lightly Mr. King.

    • I’m on your side Nathan…this person should be charged at least for theft of you dog….shame on her!

    • Sad, sad, sad all the way around. Sorry, Nathan King, for your loss and frustration. Sometimes there is no justice, but just us…

  • This is so sad. Everyone but the troublemaker is suffering in this situation.

  • I have cows and this happens more than not, They, the dogs, tear the ears off the cow, Bit their feet so the cows cant move, then the dogs chewed the milk bags off the cow, plus her nose was chewed off. So your forced to shoot the poor cow as the suffering must be severe. Good People dont let their animals kill, but it is still their responsible to keep their animal in a secure place. If not, they should be held up to the highest standards of the law.

  • Slander only applies if the information passed on is an untruth. This is taken from the legal definition.

    n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.

  • So if Kojak was stolen on Sept 27, and the cow was injured on October 18….that leaves about three weeks of time inbetween said events. I’m not sure how old Kojak was at the time all this occurred. But I doubt the dog in question was retrained to have such bad manners in such a short period of time. If you reported this to an EPD officer, I’m assuming you live in Eureka. Which is no place for a poorly trained canine. My dogs would never just get into another persons vehicle. Good luck with your case, but the evidence clearly shows you had some fault in the matter. “Logic is rare”

    • The dog was stolen in 2014. Folks who read the entire story with comprehension is also, “rare”. Logic!

    • This is not a case of a dog that was “retrained” to have “bad manners”. It seems more like the person stole the dog and then was very irresponsible in caring (more like not caring) for the dog’s well being and safety by letting the dog roam freely, eventually roaming onto this unfortunate farmer’s property and attacking these unfortunate cows. And unfortunately for Kojak his life was ended, by a justified killing, sooner than it should have been.

  • So, Kojak went from a warm and fuzzy pet, adored by everyone, to a ruthless cow killer? Wow.

    • C’mon it’s a sweet, adorable, lovevable pit. Looks great in back of a Toyota too. ?

    • The most dangerous animals are domesticated dogs that end up in roaming packs. Proven time and time again all over the country. Wolves were often blamed and killed til wildlife cameras starting catching the real culprits.
      it is not too long ago in our history that we as (mainly white) humans trained dogs to help us hunt.
      I think about it like frat boys (yes am generalizing) who are sweet on their own but get too many of em together with adrenaline pumping and they can go crazy mean.
      I am glad to know the suspects name, doubt she’d hire a lawyer to press slander charges. With the lack of help the sheriff’s provide these days its time to take things into our own hands. I hope she is run out of the county.

    • Take a dog from its home in Eureka to the hills of Eastern Humboldt where it’s free to run cattle with another dog in the household and yes, pack mentality prevails. This is what makes Kojack’s fate so tragic.

    • Kojack was actually a very loving dog when I had him. He played with other dogs much smaller than he and was surprisingly docile and even submissive. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be an intruder in my house though! Also, when I had him, he was loved and disciplined, APPARENTLY not so much with his new “owner”.

  • Nathan My dad Elmer “Moe” Hames and I are so very sorry for your loss ,You have always been my dads favorite son he never was able to have,We both feel that this woman should face charges. We are starting a petition to bring this woman to justice via the F.B.I. whom are in charge of making sure people like this face charges for their crimes. We love you Nathan and again we are sorry

  • I’m in shock that the district attorney replied on a Saturday. O_o

  • Last I heard, the truth of an accusation is an absolute defense to slander or libel charges.

  • So without any reasonable doubt you know for a fact that kojak was in her possession for 55 weeks. Seems he was running around with his other mates having a gay ol’ time.
    If you could have proved anything when he went missing, charges would have been pressed. Especially since you had her address. Good luck. My advice would be to moooo-ve on. Cows are worth more then any dog, any day of the week. For all we know she didn’t even take the dog. Could’ve ran off like how many others the past few months.

    • Yeah, you would think charges would have been filed. I know Officer Parambo went to the house once but was unable to locate her, and at one occasion had her on the phone and she “was advised to return the dog”. After that, I was told “the case has been turned over to the District Attorney”, and “it was in their hands”. I made many attempts to get answers from anyone at the DA but never heard a damn thing (I will add that this took place around the time Gallegos was on his way out of office). I was fucked twice by the justice system here. First time by not doing anything to Nicole Derek, the second by coming after me after the cow incident. I did everything I could to assist the police but was basically made to feel like I was a nuisance.

  • Kym did a fabulous job not posting names.


  • https://www.change.org/p/humboldt-county-district-attorney-maggie-fleming-dissuade-hcso-from-pursuing-absurd-criminal-charges-against-grieving-dog-theft-victim

    I’ll just leave this here. Seems the roommate knowingly took the dog to see the dognapper. No plate on the truck? Stoners these days. Wake up and walk your own dog. Moral o’ the story.

  • concerned neighbor

    She definitely needs to be held accountable for stealing and having a bunch of loose dogs, whom when more than 2 have a pack mentality and even the nicest dogs have natural survival skills and if their loose and hungry livestock is easy prey. It’s instinct. I wonder if that’s how she got all her dogs? Theif. If I were you, I’d slap a lawsuit on the dumb bitch, any legal fees you accrue or fines you have to pay for because of the dogs actions while not in your possession….sue the theif. Good luck man and I’m so sorry about your puppy


    Rancher Les Moore needs to sight in his 44…

    • Does Humboldt rancher Wesley Moore go by Les?

      There was also a Wells Fargo Stagecoach driver from the old West with that name who was shot after delivering a mangled package. The epitaph from his gravestone, in Boothill, Arizona is famous:

      NO LES
      NO MORE

  • I’m impressed with how persistent Nathan was in trying to retrieve Kojack. He must have loved the dog very much.

  • Kym had done a great job keeping her name unrevealed.. I can see in the comments though that you still are slandering this poor girl? Did she even steal this dog?
    And one thing I learned from going to law school is the press can make a situation one-sided, leaving the other side looking badly. But in most cases, it’s really best to hear both sides ( as a citizen ). Hope everything is okay as you have not been charged! This is good news… I agree that it is time to move on… Sorry for your loss.

    • Oh yes, that poor fucking girl! It would be absolutely TRAGIC if NICOLE ANN DEREK had to go through any HARDSHIP because of this situation. God forbid that THIEVES like NICOLE ANN DEREK not get away with taking my best friend away from me and allowing him to roam free where he is ultimately taught “the hard way” to stay away from other peoples animals. What is TERRIFYING is that Kojack was not good with small children, and what happened with the cow could have been a MUCH more serious and absolutely devastating matter had he had the opportunity to attack a little boy or girl. But let’s not think about that, lets sit here and whine about how poor little NICOLE ANN DEREK got away with this scott free and should be left alone because thieves like NICOLE ANN DEREK have suffered enough. [edit]

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