MARCH 10, 2015 UPDATE: Diesel’s shooter, Joseph Potts, has been arrested and charged with one count of felony cruelty to a non-livestock animal.
A man at the Bay Area Dog Park in Houston yesterday morning thought a 2-year-old, black-and-white Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Diesel was playing too roughly with his own dog.
So the man kicked Diesel, knocking him down, then pulled out a handgun and shot him three times at close range in the back and leg. Diesel was rushed to a local emergency animal hospital, where he had to be euthanized a few hours later due to the extent of his injuries.
“I just can’t believe somebody would do that when the dog wasn’t even being aggressive,” Melanie Merritt, who saw the shooting, told KHOU.
Another eyewitness told KPRC-TV the dogs appeared to have been playfully tussling at the Bay Area Dog Park. “His dog was not in danger,” he said. “I witnessed everything. No one was in danger.”
No charges have yet been filed against the man, who has not been identified.
While it’s legal to carry rifles and shotguns in Texas, handguns require a permit. Using one to kill a pet dog, in an area filled with families on a weekend morning, seems not only cruel but downright dangerous.
After being questioned by Harris County sheriff’s deputies, the shooter — who, according to KHOU, told them he did it in self defense when the “Pit Bull” tried to attack his dog — was released. The Sheriff’s Office issued a statement this morning that it will bring its completed investigation of the case to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for further review.
“He doesn’t have any remorse,” the eyewitness told KPRC-TV. “He’s angry. All of that aggression. We’re all telling him, ‘I hope you go to jail.’ I don’t understand how they are not pressing charges.”
Last night KPRC-TV reporter Bill Spencer said he spoke via phone to Diesel’s pet parents, who plan to press criminal charges against the shooter today.
“They’re absolutely heartsick and they are sick to their stomachs,” Spencer said. “And they are confused as well — shocked that the man who shot their dog is not behind bars tonight.”
Photo via Twitter