NORWALK, Ohio – An Ohio man is accused of animal cruelty and two other misdemeanors after he originally claimed his pet dog shot itself, authorities said.
Jonathan George, 31, of Norwalk, was charged with handling a firearm while intoxicated, cruelty to animals and discharging a weapon in a municipality, WJW reported.
Norwalk police Capt. Jim Fulton said a telephone call he received from George was “bizarre,” the television station reported. It concerned the man’s dog, Lula, a 4-year-old brindle boxer.
“Said his dog shot itself and he trained the dog to bring a gun to him,” Fulton told WJW. “The dog had the gun in its mouth when it went off accidentally. The officers didn’t believe that story.”
Lula eventually lost her left eye after emergency surgery, the Huron County Humane Society wrote on its Facebook page.
According to police, Lula was found conscious but with a serious gunshot wound, the Sandusky Register reported.
“He was very upset when officers arrived,” Norwalk police Capt. David Smith told the newspaper. “It was clear alcohol was involved and the incident appeared accidental in nature.”
Fulton said George later admitted he was trying to unload his gun when he accidentally shot the animal in the jaw, according to WJW.
“If that’s true or not, or he pointed at the dog and squeezed the trigger, we don’t know,” Fulton told the television station. “His BAC (blood-alcohol content) was 1.7, so that’s a little over twice the legal limit for driving. Shouldn’t be drinking and handling firearms, bottom line.”
While officers were questioning George, Lula, who had been lying down, slipped away, the Register reported. The dog was later found Monday morning at the home of George’s ex-girlfriend, who had been Lula’s former owner, the newspaper reported.
The humane society raised more than $2,000 for Lula’s care, according to WJW. The organization hopes to raise the additional $1,000 needed for surgery, her caregivers said.
“I’m not sure why somebody would be intoxicated and playing with a gun,” Daphne Nelson, a humane investigator for Huron County, told WJW. “That just doesn’t make sense to me.”
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