LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies arrested a Lake County man who they say shot and killed his neighbors’ dog for digging through his trash can.
Curtis Jones, 58, was arrested Sunday at his home along Sendcastle Drive in Groveland.
Deputies said they were called to the area on Jan. 10 for reports of an animal being shot. When they arrived, they made contact with the couple who owned the dog as they were getting ready to drive the animal to a veterinarian’s office, records show.
After quickly taking some photos of the animal, the husband drove off with the dog while the wife remained to answer questions, deputies said.
The woman told deputies she had stepped outside to call for her dogs when she heard a gunshot, records show. A short time later, the woman said she spotted her two dogs, and the older one appeared to be limping, according to the arrest affidavit.
Deputies said the couple went next door to confront their neighbor and encountered Jones, who admitted to shooting the dog.
Investigators said they spotted Jones and another man who lives at the property trying to leave the area in a semitruck. Deputies said they stopped the pair and questioned them about what happened.
Jones told deputies that he spotted the dogs in his trash can and shouted at them, causing the animals to run, according to the affidavit. The man said he then went inside to get a shotgun and fired a round in the direction of the dogs, but said he did not intend to shoot them — rather he wanted to scare them off, records show.
The vet told investigators that the dog had been hit with birdshot and had at least 80 pellets in it, which was consistent with someone firing directly at the animal, records show. Deputies said the dog died about an hour and a half after it arrived for treatment.
Jones faces a charge of aggravated animal cruelty.