The shooting of a puppy in the presence of its 14-year-old owner resulted in the shooter being arrested and subsequently charged on multiple charges.
John Lee Phillips was charged by a Jones County Grand Jury on June 22 with aggravated animal cruelty, firing a gun near a highway or road, reckless behavior, and first degree cruelty against children.
The March 26 report of Phillips’ arrest by Jones County’s deputy sheriff’s clerk Kevin Harden said he was sent on a call on Yukon Drive regarding a dog that was shot to death. The deputy said when he got to the scene he found the 14-year-old with a puppy in hand that was bleeding from his left leg. The applicant informed him that her neighbor had shot her puppy because he was in his garden.
Harden said when the puppy was placed on the floor he could not move or put any weight on his leg. The deputy said Deputy Melvin Turner had arrived at the scene and Harden explained what he knew so far.
The MPs approached the neighbor’s apartment and Phillips opened the door before they could knock. Harden said Phillips had been taken into custody.
He said Turner had told the suspect that he was being arrested for firing a gun. Harden said Phillips told officers he understood.
The deputy said he asked Phillips what happened and he said he had had problems with his neighbors’ dogs for some time. The suspect said he saw the dog in his yard and got his rifle back.
Phillips told Harden that when he went outside, the dog started to run. He said the dog didn’t make it long before shooting him.
The deputy said he asked Phillips if the dog was aggressive and he said no. Harden said he then told the suspect he was being charged with animal cruelty and Phillips was put in his patrol car.
Harden said he asked the 14-year-old to show him where she was when the dog was shot.
He said she took him to the side of the road. She told him she heard the shot and when she saw the puppy was injured she ran over and picked it up.
The MP said he had filed arrest warrants for reckless behavior and firing a gun near a highway or road, in addition to animal cruelty.