PAROWAN (ABC4 News) – A Parowan man was arrested after deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office say he illegally shot and killed in his neighbor’s dog Saturday.
Bradley Niederhauser, 50, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals as well as discharging a weapon within 600 feet of a home.
Authorities responded to the area of 200 North and 3700 West after Niederhauser called dispatch saying that his neighbor’s dog was outside and he planned to shoot it if it came onto his property. While deputies were in route to the scene, the suspect called dispatch again, letting them know he shot the dog. Police say that when they arrived, they found the dog’s body at the edge of the suspect’s property.
According to charging documents, Bradley told deputies that he shot the dog as it was charging him, then the dog ran 25 feet back to the edge of the property, turned around, and charged him again; at that time, he allegedly walked up next to it and “put it down.”
Iron County Sheriff Ken Carpenter told ABC4 News the dog had been shot twice with a shotgun, and deputies on-scene did not believe the dog had been a threat.
“It didn’t make sense in accordance to what the deputy was being told. If the dog actually had been aggressive and had been tearing up livestock or something of that nature, then an individual would be justified in shooting the dog.” Carpenter said. “But in neighborhood less than 600 feet away from a dwelling where we don’t have anything to substantiate that was the case, then it would be unlawful to shoot the dog.”
Arresting officers say his story of the encounter “couldn’t match up to the tracks located where the dog was shot nor the blood that was found on scene,” the documents state, adding that according to the location he claimed he was shooting from, he wasn’t firing in a safe direction with houses in the backdrop.
The man allegedly told deputies he “would shoot any dog that comes onto his property” and he was “legally justified” in doing so. Deputies say there was no evidence to support his claim that “his own personal safety was at risk,” according to the report.