Officials: Man Shot Caged Dog Four Times

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Roger Harnish (Photo courtesy of Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Roger Harnish (Photo courtesy of Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Roger Harnish (Photo courtesy of Lake County Sheriff’s Office)

PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A caged dog that was acting protective of his owner was shot four times and survived, but ultimately had to be put down.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said a 60-year-old woman called 911 around 3:52 a.m. Tuesday to report the shooting.

Her husband, Roger Harnish, 68, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and domestic violence against his wife.

An investigation revealed Harnish and his wife were arguing over finances in their Dorchester Road home in Perry Township.

A press release stated Harnish rushed at his wife in an aggressive manner, alarming Terry, the 3-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Terry, who is said to be very protective, began to growl at Harnish.

The sheriff’s office said Harnish threatened to kill the dog because of the way it was acting, but his wife pleaded with him to leave Terry alone.

She then locked the dog in a wire kennel to try to calm him.

The arguing continued, as did the growling.

Harnish allegedly went to the bedroom to get a 9mm handgun and shot Terry twice while he was secured in the kennel.

His wife ran out of the house and said she heard two more shots fired.

The sheriff’s office said Harnish admitted to shooting the dog four times “to make sure it was dead,” all while it was locked in the cage.

But Terry wasn’t dead.

Deputies found him in the yard where Harnish dragged him.  The dog suffered from severe head trauma.

Attempts to reach local animal rescues were unsuccessful, the sheriff’s office said.

Because Terry was suffering so badly, a deputy humanely ended his life.

The handgun was recovered at the scene.


  • Jessica

    Put him in a cage and shoot him over and over. Make sure he suffers too. Then drag him out to the yard and finish him off. This hot head needs to go.

  • Mike

    A classy citizen here! First, he beats up on his wife. After he does that, then he chooses to shoot a dog four times for defending the owner. He’s lucky I’m not his neighbor. Unload a clip right in his face!

    • george johnston

      The gun geniuses in the media are at it again. You’d think Fox 8 would assign someone with a modicum of understanding about firearms in a gun related story. I doubt she could define what an assault weapon is either. Like I said, to them, it’s a gun, it’s bad, no reason to understand them or report accurately their use or misuse to the public. Lazy reporting.

      • Arvina Copeland

        Very true, lazy reporting. The comment about local animal rescues is likely to be another example. Either the officer or the reporter, or both, are ignorant of what you do with an injured animal beside killing it. They need to look up these details and make another attempt at reporting this account. Probably had no idea how many people would be reading an account about a dog being shot and shot and shot and shot and shot. Five times.

  • george johnston

    Great reporting. Please tell me what a “9mm shotgun” is. Oh, who cares about details. Guns are guns. It all runs together.

  • Kris

    Seriously a “9mm shotgun” Fox 8 can you please explain to me what that is since there is no such thing. Try 9mm handgun!!!

  • zach

    This guys is sick and you say it was a 9 mm shot gun then and the end its an hand gun can you please proof read before you post stuff

  • Erica

    This guy needs to pay But will he. Seems like the law really doesn’t care about the animals. I agree next time it will be ahuman.

  • cj

    What is wrong with some people? God gave us dominion over animals to protect them, not to be cruel and inhumane.

  • Rita


  • Kimi Wandless

    What article are you reading? I read “9mm handgun”
    No mention of a shotgun.
    This man needs to be jailed for a long time. I bet the wife doesn’t press charges of spousal abuse, just the abuse against her dog.

  • Deborah

    Take it out on a defenseless dog!! What a dirt bag. The dog was in it’s kennel, and that means he takes a shot gun and plants a ‘couple ‘ in him and drags him ?? That poor dog. Hope this guy get what he deserves. BIG TIME!!

  • mary

    this was a cruel act that can’t be excepted our little pets rely on us to protested them like they do us so we return the favor by taken their lives from them so you ask yourself who are the real animals ? os if you ask me humans should get the maxium jail time for killing a animal as if pet was a human thank you Mary Hinton in Cleveland ohio

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