HOWARD COUNTY — A Howard County teenager is facing allegations of animal cruelty and carrying a firearm without a license stemming from the shooting of a dog in its kennel following a reported attack on its owner.
According to a report from the Howard County Sheriff's Office, Kokomo police were called Jan. 26 to the Kokomo Humane Society for a dog that had been shot multiple times and abandoned. Investigation by Kokomo officers and the Humane Society found the dog's owners and that the potential crime had occurred in the county near State Road 19 and 300 S.
Deputies said the quick spread of misinformation and the names of those potentially involved on social media prompted the dog's owners to meet with deputies to tell their side of the story to end the harassment they were receiving.
The dog's owner said that while she was eating she allowed the dog, a brindle pitbull, to eat out of a bowl that she was using. The owner told deputies the dog attacked her in the face without warning and she had to go to the emergency room for stitches around her nose and face.
Deputies said when the owner returned home, she placed the dog in a separate room as she feared he would attack again. The owner called her mother, who reportedly has experience working with animals, and asked her to remove the dog and make sure it was taken care of.
In a subsequent interview, deputies said they met with a 16-year-old boy and a family member. During the interview the suspects allegedly admitted to picking up the dog from the owner's house at her request. The suspects told deputies they attempted to contact several agencies to take the dog, however, no one would take the dog because of the dog's aggressive behavior.
According to the sheriff's office, the suspects took the dog out into the county with a plan to release him from his kennel to run wild, however, when they attempted to release him the dog reportedly became aggressive. The juvenile got a gun from the vehicle and shot the dog in the cage multiple times until he thought the dog was dead. The suspects left the dog in the kennel on the side of the road, deputies said.
Deputies said there have been threats and harassment against the people allegedly involved in the incident.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Howard County Sheriff's Detective Rod Shaffer at 765-614-3475.