UPDATE: Local News 8 talked to the suspect, who said the dog was a threat to his family. Brock Merrill said the dog, who he believed was a stray, had been frequenting his property over the past week. It got aggressive Monday afternoon, so he shot it. He also said he didn’t realize his property was within city limits.
Pocatello police have charged a man with animal cruelty after he allegedly shot a dog in the neck with a high caliber gun. Interestingly enough, this is right on the heels of legislation to enact harsher penalties on Idahoans convicted of animal cruelty.
Police first responded to the 1100 block of Ceder Hollow, off Bannock Highway, at about 2:30 Monday afternoon after getting a call about an injured dog. Police and animal control arrived at the scene to find the black and white lab mix, who had been shot. The dog was taken to Alta Animal Hospital, where it underwent surgery.
Police followed a trail of blood left by the dog to the 1200 block of Cahina Way, one street over. They identified the suspect, 36-year-old Brock C. Merrill, and charged him with cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm within city limits, both misdemeanor charges. The gun police believe he used is a .357 magnum revolver.
Under Idaho’s current laws, Merrill, if a first-time offender, could face up to six months in jail and a fine of $100 to $5,000. Most people convicted of the crime don’t get anything near the maximum penalty, however.
Despite the veterinarian’s best efforts, the bullet can’t be removed from the dog’s neck, although it is in stable condition and is expected to recover. Pocatello Animal Control is still looking for the owner of the dog, and are asking anybody with information to call 234.6157.