A Georgia prosecutor says he intends to aggressively prosecute a contractor who allegedly sprayed fluorescent orange paint on a barking black lab mix that was in a fenced backyard.
“To spray paint a dog in the eye makes no sense,” DeKalb County Solicitor Robert James told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution yesterday. “It was gratuitous. The animal was behind a fence. Its really something we take serious and were going to try to make this thing right. We’re going to take this very seriously.”
Dario Harris appeared in DeKalb County State Court Tuesday on two counts of animal cruelty, a charge that could mean as much as 12 months in jail.
Harris was dispatched in March to mark gas lines in preparation for scheduled digging along the residential street. A homeowner, Jeffrey Tompkins, heard his dog, Bear, barking and then saw a truck driving away. A few minutes later, he found his dog rubbing her eyes with her front paws.
Tompkins said there were “seven individual spray marks” low on the fence about the height of the dog’s eyes.
“It wasn’t like he just sprayed one time across [ the fence],” Tompkins said in an interview Wednesday. “He [Harris] went up to the fence. He had no reason to go in the backyard.”
Harris said he “reacted to the dog coming to the gate and scaring me. It wasn’t anything intentional. I wasn’t out to do any harm. I was just doing my job.”
A vet flushed Bear’s eyes and provided antibiotics, and Harris said he would repay Tompkins for those expenses.
“This is making me out to be a criminal,” Harris said. “I’m not.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, backyard, bear, charge, contractor, court, dario harris, dekalb county, dog, fence, fluorescent, gas lines, georgia, jeffrey tompkins, lab, marking, orange, painting, spray paint