Christopher Scott Shooting His Own Dog In The Head With A Crossbow Was Justified, Lawyer Says

Christopher Scott’s lawyer is speaking out in defense of his client, who has been charged with animal cruelty for shooting his retriever, Gemma, in the head with a crossbow. Denis McCarthy says Scott was justified in trying to euthanize the dog.

According to Scott’s attorney, Gemma’s owner was justified in shooting the dog because she had attacked and killed the other dog in the home — a pug — “literally ripping its throat out,” reports the Detroit Free Press. McCarthy maintains the Michigan man charged with felony animal cruelty has five children in the home and young children living next door, so he has the requisite “just cause under the law” to kill the dog.

Christopher Scott allegedly shot the dog with the crossbow in March. Gemma wandered around for two days before she was discovered on March 30 in Lapeer County by construction worker Jim O’Dell. He found the dog with a 15 to 18-inch arrow sticking out of her head, according to DFP.

When questioned, Scott initially told authorities after Gemma became aggressive towards his other dog, he put her in his truck and drove her “north on back country roads” where he released the dog and shot her in the head with an arrow from a crossbow. Gemma’s owner said he brought something to bury the dog with, but after retrieving the item from his truck, he discovered the dog was gone.

Where O’Dell found Gemma is 16 miles away from her previous home in Goodland Township.

Although Scott is now claiming the shooting was justified, according to Aimee Orn, Lapeer County’s chief animal control officer, investigators have heard from witnesses that the dog may have been shot for reasons other than aggressiveness.

“Authorities have heard other stories about why the man shot the dog, including that she defecated in the house and that he doesn’t pay attention to her and she runs through the neighborhood.”

Gemma, who has been recuperating with Lapeer County Animal Control since March, has shown no signs of aggressiveness with other animals or people and is a very affectionate dog, according to Orn. The retriever has recovered from all of her injuries and is doing well. The dog must stay with LP Animal Control until at least the first hearing in the case, where the judge may determine Gemma can be adopted.

At the July 8 pre-trial hearing, McCarthy says he will attempt to have the case dismissed.

If convicted, Christopher Scott, 28, faces up to four years in prison.

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