HARRISONBURG, Va -- Sgt. Russell Metcalf is guilty of animal cruelty for shooting and killing a family's dog.
The incident happened earlier in the spring in the Clover Hill neighborhood in early April. Metcalf did admit to shooting the dog almost a month later, in May, when Sheriff's Deputies from Rockingham County questioned him.
Metcalf was riding a bike when, he said in court on Thursday, the dog barked at and followed him. He said he was afraid of the dog biting him and that he tried to get his pepper spray out of his pocket. Metcalf said because he had trouble getting pepper spray, he shot the dog with his gun.
The dog's owner, Bryan Ware, said he was in his backyard when he heard the gunshot. Ware said he went to the front of the house to find his dog dead in the road. He also said his dog, Sadie, was friendly and would never hurt anyone.
Metcalf got a 60-day sentence in jail, but all of those days will be suspended. Metcalf is not allowed to work with animals while on probation.
Ware did say that he was satisfied with the outcome of the trial.
This is the second case of animal cruelty against a Harrisonburg Police Officer. Another officer was charged with animal cruelty after beating a cat to death with a nightstick. That case was later dropped.
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