80-year-old Fort Worth man gets a day in jail for killing stray puppy

Posted Friday, Jul. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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An 80-year-old man who killed a stray puppy who got into his back yard where he keeps chickens was sentenced Friday to one day in jail after pleading guilty to a cruelty to animals charge.

John Earl Sumberlin Jr. of Fort Worth told police he shot at the dog but did not mean to kill it. A police report said Sumberlin was not defending himself.

The shooting occurred April 24, 2011, outside his residence in the 1700 block of Harvey Avenue in east Fort Worth near Cobb Park, the report said.

In an earlier news report, Sumberlin said that stray dogs are a common problem in his neighborhood. Also, a neighbor’s pit bulls had gotten into his back yard and killed several of his chickens. Protecting his new chickens was the reason he shot at the puppy, he said.

Sumberlin faced a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

This contains material from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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