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Winston-Salem man charged after shooting, killing blind dog in fight with his dog

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A man is facing charges after shooting and killing a blind dog while it was fighting with his dog, according to a news release from Winston-Salem police.

Rusty Hale, is charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals and discharging a firearm within the city limits. He was also cited with a city ordinance violation of the leash law.

At 2:14 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to the 5900 block of Odenton Lane after a report of a firearm being discharged.

According Winston-Salem police, a woman was walking a blind Labrador Retriever on a leash in the area.

While on the walk, the woman and dog passed by Hale’s house. A Yorkshire Terrier that was not on a leash ran from the residence and out into the street at the Lab.

The woman attempted to pull the Lab back but was not successful, the release said. The Lab then began to bite the Yorkshire Terrier.

Hale ran from his property and attempted to end the dog fight, during which he was bitten by the Lab.

Winston-Salem police say Hale produced a handgun and began yelling at the woman to get back away from the dogs. Hale fired one shot, killing the Lab. The woman remained 10 to 15 feet away when the shot was fired.

At the time the shot was fired, the dogs, Hale and the woman were approximately three feet into Hale’s front yard, the release said.

Animal Control was called to assist at the scene, citing Hale for the leash violation and seizing the Lab.

The woman walking the Lab was not the dog’s owner. The owner was contacted and came to the scene, the release said.

The Yorkshire Terrier died from injuries sustained in the fight.

Following an investigation, Hale was charged. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 9, 2017.

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