Charlevoix man charged in death of neighbor's dog

A photo of Robbie the sheltie when he was younger.

A Charlevoix man is facing animal cruelty charges for the death of his neighbor's dog.

James Jerome Gibbons, 83, is accused of shooting his neighbor's dog on May 26 with a pellet gun.

Witnesses said the canine, a sheltie named â??Robbieâ??, crossed through a neighbor's yard onto the Gibbons property.

Moments later, witnesses heard a gunshot. Neighbor Micki Clawson said he will never forget the sound.

â??The dog was yelping and crying,â?? said Clawson. â??A really heart breaking sound."

The dogâ??s owner, Clawson and other neighbors found Robbie motionless. They rushed him to a veterinarian.

The pellet hit the dogâ??s spine. The shot paralyzed Robbie.

Shortly after rescuers and veterinarians realized he could no longer move, the owner made the tough decision to put Robbie to sleep.

â??He was a beautiful animal, very sweet, very gentle,â?? said Clawson. â??I never actually saw him bark at anyone or never seen him growl anyone.â??

Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof believes Gibbons didnâ??t want to kill Robbie.

â??I think he made just a horrible decision here and that result is the dogâ??s death,â?? said Telgenhof. â??If a neighborâ??s dog comes into your yard you can't take a gun and shoot it. That's not the answer. So, he needs to be held accountable for that.â??

An arrest warrant was issued for Gibbons on June 5. He turned himself in.

Gibbons is out on $400 bail and faces one misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Gibbons waived his arraignment set for June 20.

His next court date will be a pretrial for June 24.