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Stark County man arrested for allegedly shooting caged dog

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A Perry Township man was arrested early Tuesday morning after allegedly shooting and severely wounding a dog that was locked in its cage.

At 3:52 a.m., the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a home on Dorchester Road after a 911 call from a 60-year-old woman who said her husband, 68-year-old Roger A. Harnish, had shot her dog. When deputies arrived on scene, they reported hearing a gunshot coming from the home, Lt. Carl Dondorfer said in a release.

Terry, the woman’s 3-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, became protective of the woman and growled at Harnish after the woman arrived home from work and got into a fight with her husband. Harnish came towards her aggressively and allegedly threatened to kill the dog for its behavior so the woman put the dog in a wire kennel.

The argument continued, and Terry continued to growl.

“(The woman) stated that her husband then went to their bedroom and retrieved a 9 mm handgun after which Mr. Harnish shot the dog twice while it was secured in the kennel,” the lieutenant Dondorfer reported.

In fear of her life, the woman fled from the home and told deputies she heard two more shots from inside the home.
“Upon speaking with Mr. Harnish, he readily admitted to shooting the dog four times while it was kenneled in the cage to ensure that it was dead. The handgun was recovered at the scene,” said Dondorfer.

Deputies found the dog off the rear deck of the home after Harnish allegedly dragged the wounded animal there. The dog had “severe head trauma” but was still alive. Unable to contact any animal rescue agencies, a deputy “humanely dispatched” the dog because of its injuries, Dondorfer said.

Harnish was arrested and charged with first-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty and fourth-degree misdemeanor domestic violence. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Painesville Municipal Court.

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