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Lexington man charged with animal torture after shooting dog in head

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jul 08, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A dog has been recovering at the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control after authorities said the owner shot her in the head.

Damien Crump has been charged with animal torture.

The bulldog named Zora has been recovering after she was shot twice in the head by Crump.

Neighbor Drew Cercone said last Sunday he was playing outside with their dogs in a neighborhood near Tates Creek Golf Course when they heard popping noises coming from next door.

"I heard a shot and I thought it was a firework. I didn’t know what it was at first. A little bit of time went by, I heard another one, followed by an animal screaming, for me it felt like forever, maybe about a minute. You know, I heard another shot shortly after that and the screaming stopped.”

Cercone said Crump and his wife came to his house and said that they had no choice but to put one of their dogs down because she had "gone after" one of their children the day before.

Cercone said he's sad this happened and didn't want to get involved in a feud with neighbors, but he felt like he had to do the right thing and call police.

"Somebody had to do it. I'm an animal lover I couldn't imagine that being an option for anybody. Especially when they have kennels," said Cercone.

The uniform citation said that officers found the dog suffering in a kennel in the Crump's backyard.

Animal control officers said Zora somehow survived two gunshot wounds to the head.

Cercone said he's still shaken up by what happened, he couldn't go to work and is scared to go outside of his house for fear of being harassed.

He's hoping police take a zero tolerance stance not only on animal cruelty, but also the dangers of someone shooting a weapon in a busy neighborhood with people and kids.

"I don't think anybody in this neighborhood wants this to be happening or feels like this is justified. My wife and I are pretty unhappy about living next to this. Disturbing. The whole thing is just really disturbing," said Cercone.

LEX 18 did go to the Crump's residence to try and get Crump's side of the story. His attorney tells LEX 18 that they are confident Crump's name will be cleared but declined to say anything further.

Crump is now facing an animal torture charge.

According to animal control officers, Zora has been recovering, but they are frustrated that laws do not prevent someone charged with animal torture from owning a pet again.