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N.Y. Deputies Responding to Fire Find Shot Puppies

PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. -- A husband and wife were arrested late Friday afternoon after an investigation of gun shots and an out-of-control grass fire discovered that the man had shot two puppies.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies initially arrived at 33047 Holmes Road to find a large area of land on fire and called for Department of Environmental Conservation and local fire department assistance.

After an investigation, it was discovered that Nicholas E. Mitchell, 35, of 32310 Route 26, had shot two pit bull puppies that he could not and did not want to care for, deputies said.

The first puppy, a 24-week-old black pit bull named Lyla, survived the first shot and began to run away. Deputies said Mr. Mitchell then shot the dog a second time, carried the body behind his residence and dumped the carcass.

Mr. Mitchell fired a total of four shots and does not have a state pistol permit, deputies said.

The second dog, a 24-week-old pit bull named Gemma, was shot once by Mr. Mitchell, deputies said. The dog then was brought over the berm behind his residence where the other dog's body had been dumped. The second puppy survived the shot, but ultimately was located and put down by sheriff's patrol at the scene to end the dog's suffering.

Mr. Mitchell's wife, Taarin D. Mitchell, 29, of 512A Sleepy Hollow Road, Gouverneur, also was at the residence, despite a court order of protection barring the two from being in contact with each other. Deputies said the two were cleaning the Holmes Road residence, violating a stay-away refrain-from order of protection issued out of Family Court valid until August 1.

Both were charged with second-degree criminal contempt for violating the protection orders, as well as issued tickets from DEC for violations of burning. Mr. Mitchell additionally was charged with two counts of torturing or injuring animals and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class E felony, as well as a ticket from DEC for firing a gun within 500 feet of a dwelling.

The two were issued appearance tickets for all the charges returnable to Town Court.

Copyright 2014 - Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service