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Police: Mt. Oliver man shot his dog with arrow

| Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 8:36 p.m.

Jesse Fitzgerald first shot his dog Kila with a crossbow, police said, and then he tried to yank the arrow out of her head.

When that did not work, he left the dog on the street in Mt. Oliver, according to the criminal complaint.

Now Fitzgerald, 31, of Mt. Oliver is in Allegheny County Jail on two counts of cruelty to animals. Kila, a 2-year-old brown and white pit bull, was taken to the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Ohio Township.

Residents of Fitzgerald's home said the dog was alive, but they declined to comment further. Representatives of the center declined to comment on the dog's condition without the owner's consent.

“It's certainly horrifying,” said Gretchen Fieser, spokeswoman for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in the North Side. “There is no excuse for that sort of thing. If he didn't want the dog anymore, rather than shooting it, he could have brought it to the shelter.”

The criminal complaint offered this account of the incident:

Fitzgerald's mother, Kathy Timlin, flagged down police shortly after midnight Saturday and said she could hear the dog yelping and that her son had left their home with the animal.

He said the dog was fine and that he was going to give her to a friend.

At the request of Mt. Oliver police Officer Kevin Lockhart, Fitzgerald arrived at the police station.

“No, I would never hurt my dog,” he told police. “I'm not a violent person.”

Shortly afterward, two city police officers radioed Mt. Oliver police about spotting a dog matching Kila's description on Fernleaf Street. They said the dog had something stuck in its head.

Upon questioning, Fitzgerald admitted shooting the dog with the crossbow but did not say why, police said. He faces a court hearing on Wednesday.

Fieser recalled a similar incident several years ago in which a resident shot stray and pet cats with a bow and arrow. To this day, she said, she remembers a black and white cat being brought to the shelter with an arrow protruding from its abdomen.

The shelter responded to more than 1,000 cases of animal cruelty or neglect last year, she said.

A judge could order an owner convicted of cruelty to give up ownership of the pet, Fieser said.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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