Police arrested a Parsons man Wednesday on suspicion of animal cruelty and discharging a firearm in the city limits.
At 8:58 a.m. Wednesday police received a call that a dog had been shot in the 1400 block of South 12th Street. The witness stated that the person who shot the dog, later identified as Jordan Thompson, 28, of Parsons, immediately left in a white sport utility vehicle.
Officers met with witnesses. Thompson was identified as the alleged shooter of Zues, a 4-year-old miniature schnauzer. Officers collected video surveillance, which showed that the dog did not appear to advance on Thompson to provoke being shot. Thompson appeared to walk to a nearby vehicle after seeing the dog, retrieve a pistol and then stalk closer to Zues. Thompson takes careful aim and fires a shot, striking the animal in the hip and leg area. The dog ran injured and bleeding to the southwest, according to a release from Parsons police.
Sgt. Waylon Kepley tracked Zues’ blood trail and found the wounded schnauzer in a front yard in the 1300 block of Southern near its residence. The dog was still alive but suffering from shock. Officers requested that the animal control vehicle take Zues to the Parsons Animal Hospital for emergency care.
The Parsons Animal Hospital contracts with the city for animal impoundment and emergency care of animals that officers locate in the city.
At 10:20 a.m., Acting Commander Kyle Wiford found Thompson at his work place. Thompson was advised of his Miranda rights and stated he shot the dog because it bared its teeth at him. Thompson corroborated that the animal had not attacked him, but simply bared its teeth.
Thompson stated he had contacted Parsons police numerous times about the dog and had received no assistance. A check of police records showed no calls made by Thompson when searched by his name, phone number or address regarding a roaming schnauzer. During the records search one call was found from 2019 regarding a loose Labrador, the police release said.
Thompson was arrested for felony cruelty to animals and misdemeanor criminal discharge of a firearm in city limits. The case will be presented to the Labette County Attorney’s Office for review. The firearm used was collected as well as a second firearm Thompson had on his person at the time of his arrest.
Cruelty to animals in this case is a felony with a maximum penalty of up to a year in prison with a maximum fine of up to $5,000.
The owners of Zues have been contacted and the dog at large issue has also been addressed. They took responsibility and were cooperative during the investigation, the police release said.
According to Wiford, "There was probable cause to arrest Thompson based on the witnesses, video evidence, Thompson’s statements and the wounds to the victim dog."
“We hope these charges send a clear message to anyone who needs to hear it. This sort of conduct isn’t just wrong, it’s criminal,” said Kepley.
Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said, “In policing we are confronted by a host of violent, egregious and inhumane acts. Pets are to receive guardianship and are the most vulnerable to abuse and cruelty. I was flabbergasted today when I heard about not just the illegal discharge of a handgun in the city limits by an irresponsible individual. I was shocked once I heard about the details of the shooting and how Zues, a small dog, was pursued by the suspect and then shot with clear and precise intent.”
Spinks said Dr. Eva Dudek, the veterinarian at the pet hospital, performed stabilizing surgery on the Zues’ hip and leg. The dog lost considerable blood. Zues is being transferred to Kansas State University for surgery to try to save its hind leg. Dudek estimates that surgery could easily cost the family $4,000, the police release said.
The family has started a GoFundMe page has been established (Please help with Zues’ surgery fee!).