Dog Owner Pleads Guilty After Shooting Pet Pit Bulls, Killing 1

June 8, 2019 Updated: June 8, 2019

A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to shooting his two pet pit bulls at a local dump, killing one and wounding the other, leaving it without an eye.

Quincy Cowans, 28, made the plea on June 6, admitting to multiple counts of animal cruelty, according to KDKA. Common Pleas Judge David Cashman sentenced him to five years of probation.

Cowans must also pay $2,000 in restitution. Part of the money will pay for the injured dog’s medical treatment.

He is also banned from owning animals of any kind for the next 10 years.

Police in Glassport were notified about the abuse on Dec. 28, when animal control officers were called to Minnesota Avenue about an injured pit bull running loose, WPXI reported.

They arrived to find the dog was bleeding and saw that it had been shot. They were able to find the owner, Cowans, after Sable Kennels posted pictures of the dog on social media.

“He was shot in his head. A bullet went through the top part of his eye and grazed his nose,” Animal Control Officer Dawn Wiechler said when the injured dog was found, according to KDKA.

Cowans’ wife had reportedly claimed the dogs ran away, but Cowans admitted that he had taken his two dogs to the dump in Glassport and shot them with his 9mm pistol, the complaint read.

Cowans said that he had shot the dogs to stop them from following him home, Trib Live reported.

“The story that I got was that the dogs had been fighting, so he took the dogs and said that he would take care of it,” Wiechler said back in December, KDKA reported.

Police found the second dog several hours later—dead, buried, and under a pile of brush and cinderblocks. It had been shot in the head and neck, investigators said.

The surviving dog’s name is Sampson, a pit bull mix who was hit by three bullets.

One of the bullets went through Sampson’s eye, which vets had to remove.

Sampson was later adopted into another home.

Animal Cruelty in the United States

On Jan. 23, two Congressmen from Florida proposed a bipartisan bill that would make cruelty against animals a felony across the United States.

Fifty states across the United States currently have laws that prevent cruelty against animals, however, if animals get tortured across state lines, there is little to protect them.

With the proposed bill, authorities will have federal jurisdiction to go after the culprits. They will also be able to prosecute those who engage in acts of cruelty on federal property.

According to the Humane Society, a non-profit dedicated to resolving animal welfare problems, the animals that are most often reported as abused are dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.

The FBI in 2016 added “cruelty to animals” as a data set in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, a criminal reporting system commonly used in homicide investigations across the county. Before that, crimes that involved animals had been put into an “All Other Offenses” category.

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