The Atlanta Police Department is searching for a man who has been accused of shooting and killing a puppy in front of children in northwest Atlanta.
The suspect is believed to live in that area. He allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the 5-month-old brown lab on Hightower Road in the afternoon last week.
The owner said her stepson and a group of young children were playing with the puppy in front of her home when the man walked by and grabbed her by the collar. He then walked away with the dog to the other side of the street and shot the dog.
As an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus on the criminal offense of cruelty to dogs in today's post. Anyone with information regarding the above story is asked to contact the Atlanta Police Department.
Cruelty to Dogs in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines cruelty to dogs in Georgia as:
No person shall perform a cruel act on any dog; nor shall any person harm, maim, or kill any dog, or attempt to do so. O.C.G.A. §16-12-4.
By law, there are two exceptions to the statute above. First, people are allowed to harm, maim, or kill any dog to defend themselves, their property, or another from injury or damage being caused by the dog. Second, people are allowed to kill any dog causing injury or damage to any livestock, poultry, or pet animal.
If convicted of cruelty to dogs in Georgia, the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, and the penalty can include up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Regarding the exceptions to the law behind cruelty to dogs in Georgia, the killing of the dog must be as humane as possible under the given circumstances. If the facts in the story above are true, then the suspect did not humanely kill the 5 month old puppy.
However, there are two sides to every story, and as an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney, I try to point that out in every story I expand upon. That being the case, if you or a loved one has been accused of committing a crime in Georgia, contact our offices today. We specialize in criminal defense and can help you with your case.