Juvenile charged in dog shooting

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

KITTS HILL — A 17-year-old juvenile has been charged with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, according to Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson.

The charge was filed Tuesday following the weekend shooting of a family dog in the Kitts Hill area.

“We are filing charges on the juvenile who shot the dog for cruelty to animals,” Anderson said. “I reviewed the case and filed it to today (Tuesday).”

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The juvenile will be served with a summons to appear in court, Anderson said.

If found guilty, he could serve a period of incarceration in the Lawrence County Juvenile Detention Center, according to Anderson.

Missy Hern, who owned the dog, said she was glad a charge was being filed against her neighbor, but that there should have been additional charges filed for firing a gun near homes and into an area where people were standing. She is also concerned with the suspect’s minor status.

“I’m glad a charge is being filed,” she said. “I don’t like that fact that he’s not being tried as an adult. He’s not going to get what he should get because he is minor. For him to only get a cruelty to animal charge, that is weighing heavy on us.”

The story of the 1-year-old beagle named Pup spread like wildfire over social media over the weekend and was picked up by several news outlets in the Tri-State.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, the dog was shot several times on Saturday morning while it was in a field belonging to another neighbor.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident and confiscated the 22-caliber rifle.

According to the sheriff’s report, Hern’s neighbor and a Hecla Water employee witnessed the shooting.

Hern said since her pleas for justice on social media sites, she has had calls from people all over the country wanting to help.

“We’ve had calls from Washington and Arizona,” she said. “People wanting to set up campaigns for Pup. There are people who care.”

Hern said she didn’t want money, only justice for Pup.

“We want him to serve the punishment to the fullest extent,” Hern said. “We think he should be tried as an adult.

“I just want her (Pup) to know we’re fighting for her. We’re not going to give up.”