GROVELAND, Florida—A man is facing a charge of aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly shooting and killing his neighbor’s dog.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on Sandcastle Drive in unincorporated Groveland around 10 a.m. Jan. 10, according to an arrest affidavit. When they arrived, they found a couple covered in blood who told them their dog had been shot by the neighbor. The man left to take the dog to the emergency vet and the woman told LCSO she walked out to call her dogs and heard a single gunshot.
She observed her older dog limping and noticed it was unable to get through the fence. She told her husband she believed the neighbor shot the dog and when they went to question the neighbor, they found Curtis Aaron Jones, 58, who lives with their neighbor, according to the arrest affidavit. When questioned if he shot the dog, Jones allegedly admitted it and said he shot the dog because it was in his garbage can. The woman told Jones she was going to call law enforcement and when they arrived, they spoke with Jones.
He said he saw two dogs in his trash, yelled and grabbed his shotgun. He told LCSO he did not mean to hurt the dog, he just wanted to shoot next to it and scare it. Deputies spoke to the emergency vet, who said the numerous pellet holes in the dog were consistent with someone shooting directly at the dog, not to miss or scare the dog, the affidavit states. X-rays showed the dog suffered more than 80 pellet wounds from the bird shot and died less than two hours after arriving at the vet.
Jones admitted the dogs were not posing a threat to him at the time he fired the weapon. He was arrested for aggravated animal cruelty and is being held at the Lake County Jail in $5,000 bond.