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Vermilion man arrested after deputies say he shot and killed his neighbor’s dog

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VERMILION, Ohio (WJW)- A 76-year-old Vermilion Township man has been arrested on a felony animal cruelty charge after Erie County sheriff deputies said he shot and killed his neighbor’s dog.

James Daniels was arrested Thursday on one charge of prohibitions concerning companion animals, otherwise known as Goddard’s Law. He is expected to be arraigned in Vermilion Municipal Court on Jan. 7.

According to reports, Daniels shot his neighbor’s Saint Bernard dog named Ranger on Dec. 28. Daniels told deputies that the dog was barking at his son and daughter-in-law. He said the two ran into his house, and that’s when he grabbed his shotgun. Once outside, James said the dog was near a tree in his front yard and he walked toward him in an “aggressive manner.” James shot the dog once in the head.

James’ son told deputies the dog barked at him and his wife, but did not charge at them. The owner of the dog, Elizabeth Thayer, told deputies she let her dogs out before she went to work. She said she heard the dogs barking, so she opened her front door and called for the dogs.

“Elizabeth stated she observed the neighbor across the street using a flashlight on their property and she saw her Saint Bernard “Ranger,” the report stated. “Elizabeth stated she heard a gunshot and saw Ranger fall to the ground crying.”

When Thayer asked Daniels why he shot her dog, he told her the dog can’t be on his property. The report further noted that since the dog was in pain and suffering Thayer asked Daniels to shoot the dog again so he did not die slowly.

Thayer was charged with a misdemeanor count of failure to confine her dog. She is due in court next week.

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth says James should have called animal control or sheriff deputies and not have shot the dog.

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