Florida Man Charged in Fatal Shooting of Neighbor's Dog That Got Into His Garbage

A Lake County, Florida, man was charged with aggravated animal cruelty in the fatal shooting of his neighbor's dog that he found rooting through his trash, police said.

NBC affiliate station WESH 2 reported that according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff's Office, officers met with a couple that was working on getting their injured dog to an emergency veterinarian when they arrived on the scene.

A woman told officers her dog did not respond when she called for him to come inside. Not long after she began looking for him, she heard a gunshot. Her dog was then seen limping toward her.

She told officers that her neighbor, Curtis Jones, told her that he shot the dog because he found it going through the trash in his garbage can, police said.

Although Jones told police he did not intend to shoot the dog and only meant to scare it away, the outlet reported that animal control officers said the numerous bullet holes found in the dog were consistent with someone shooting birdshot directly at the animal.

According to a post published with AmmoToGo.com, the pattern spread of birdshot is larger than that of buckshot.

"At ten yards, depending on the shotgun barrel, a birdshot [load] can have an overall pattern spread over a foot in diameter," the website reads. "As the distance increases, so too does the spread."

The organization noted that birdshot can be lethal. If struck at close range, a wall can be penetrated by birdshot.

About an hour after being seen by the veterinarian, the dog died. WESH 2 reported that an X-ray showed more than 80 pellets hit the dog.

Newsweek reached out to Lake County Sheriff's Office for additional information but did not hear from a representative at press time.

Florida Police Car
A Florida man was arrested, accused of fatally shooting his neighbor's dog after he found it going through his garbage, police said. Above, a Miami Beach police officer inspects the inside of a car. CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images

Another man in Florida was arrested in another dispute with a neighbor over a pet, Newsweek previously reported.

Officials with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said that Clifton Anthony Bliss Jr. threatened to shoot his neighbor's cat in October 2021.

"The owner of the cat, James Arland Taylor Jr., asked Bliss not to shoot the cat, at which time Bliss shot and killed Taylor," the sheriff's office wrote in a Facebook post.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, preliminary information indicated that Bliss went to Taylor's house with a rifle. The two got into an argument about the cat coming onto Bliss' property and Bliss allegedly shot Taylor in the chest.

Bliss was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide.