MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Florida man who shot and killed his neighbor’s dogs, including one service dog, is facing animal cruelty charges, police said.
Miami-Dade Police arrested Jose Rocha, 31, earlier this week but has since bonded out.
According to his arrest report, the neighbor’s pitbull walked into Rocha’s property through an opening in a wooden fence on Sunday.
Rocha told police he saw the pitbull on his lawn while he was inside his home. That’s when he reportedly grabbed his gun, stepped outside and fired four shots, injuring the pitbull.
While shooting, police say, Rocha also shot and killed a second dog – a service dog – that was on the opposite side of the fence on his neighbor’s property.
His neighbors told officers they heard gunshots then heard their dog whimpering outside of their back door. That’s when one of them opened the door and saw their pitbull bleeding. Moments later, the dog collapsed and died.
Rocha says he shot at the dog because he did not want his dogs to be attacked but then said the pitbull did not have a history of becoming violent towards his dogs.
Officer said when they told Rocha he had also shot and killed a German Shepard – the service dog – on the opposite side of the fence, he said “I was just shooting at the pitbull to scare him and I was only trying to get him off my property.”
Investigators determined Rocha acted in a reckless manner since he was not in fear for his life or property prompting police to place him under arrest. He is charged with animal cruelty and using a firearm while committing a felony.