DeLand man fatally shot fiancée’s dogs, tried to force teen to help, deputies say

‘I don’t want him thinking that this is OK,’ teen’s mother says

William Petty, 49. (WKMG 2020)

DeLAND, Fla. – Following an argument with his fiancée, a DeLand man is accused of killing her two dogs and asking his 16-year-old son to shoot one but the teen refused, Volusia County deputies said.

William Petty, 49, was arrested Sunday in Port Orange on animal cruelty and child abuse charges.

Deputies were notified of the incident that happened Saturday near the Daytona Park Estates area of DeLand after the teen’s mother picked up the distressed 16-year-old following the visit to his father’s house.

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“His father took two dogs out into the woods and shot them in the head and tried to make my son do it but my son refused to do it,” she told dispatchers.

According to the report, Petty got into an argument with his fiancée Saturday and then told his son they were going to Lowe’s.

Petty loaded up the dogs -- a female Catahoula mix and a male Dachshund -- and his son, then drove them to a wooded area near 12th Avenue in Deland.

According to the report, Petty shot one of the dogs in the head and then handed the gun to his son and told him to shoot the other. The 16-year-old fired a shot into the ground but refused to shoot the animal, deputies said. Petty then shot the second dog in the head, according to the report.

After Petty dumped the dogs’ bodies, he drove to Lowe’s and then back to his DeLand home, according to the teen’s account. The 16-year-old left and went to his girlfriend’s house nearby where he called his mother to pick him up, according to the report.

“My son is really upset and I don’t want him thinking that this is OK,” the teen’s mom said, adding the boy was scared his father would be mad “because he told him not to tell anybody.”

Deputies were able to locate both dogs that had apparent gunshot wounds to their heads.

When Petty’s fiancée asked where the dogs were, he said they ran away, according to the report. She later learned the dogs had been shot and dumped in the woods. When she confronted Petty, he denied killing the dogs, she told deputies.

Neither animal had any illness that would warrant putting them down, she told deputies.

Petty is charged with carrying a concealed weapon in commission of a felony, two counts of felony animal cruelty, child abuse and two counts of unlawful disposal of a domestic animal.

Volusia County Jail records show Petty is being held without bail.

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