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Man accused in dog’s death served with summons

Staff Reports • Feb 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man who admitted to shooting his neighbor’s dog on Jan. 27 has been served with a criminal summons charging him with intentional killing of a domestic animal.

Joseph D. Garland, 37, 116 Piedmont St., was not arrested on the charge. He was ordered to report to Sessions Court on Feb. 19.

Garland admitted to Deputy Brady Higgins of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department that he shot the dog, but claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.

Higgins said Garland told him a stray dog had attacked his dog the night before. He said he was target shooting in his backyard with buckshot rounds when he saw the brown dog at his property line and fired at it. Garland told Higgins that when he realized it was his neighbor’s dog, he tried to get to it and dispose of the body before the neighbor’s children could see it.

The neighbors, Kimberly Jones and her son, were watching the dog through a window in their home when they saw the dog get shot.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said the criminal summons was served after conferring with the district attorney’s office. The sheriff said he has received more than 500 emails asking for the charge against Garland to be stiffer.

“It might be greater if it can be proved the dog was worth more than $500,” Mathes said. He described the dog as a pit bull mix that was less than a year old.

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