Pemberville dog shooter sentenced


A former Pemberville man indicted in connection to shooting a dog that ran onto his property in the
village last fall has been sentenced to 180 days in the Wood County jail.
Christopher Zimmerman, 65, currently of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee, appeared in the courtroom of Judge
Reeve Kelsey Tuesday.
As the result of a plea agreement, Zimmerman pleaded to one count of child endangerment, a first-degree
misdemeanor. In addition to serving 180 days in jail, he is to be on probation for one year.
He was originally indicted on two counts of endangering children, a third-degree felony, in the case.
Each of the counts carried a firearm specification, which included a mandatory three-year sentence if
A trial in the case was set to begin today. Two children who were scheduled to appear as witnesses in the
matter were declared competent to testify by Kelsey during a hearing Tuesday. The indictment alleged two
children, aged 7 and 9 at the time of the offense, and identified only by their initials, were
negatively affected by the shooting incident.
The incident was reported on Sept. 8, 2013, on East College Avenue in Pemberville. Zimmerman reportedly
shot the dog, named Puppy, after the animal ran onto his property from the property of his
then-next-door neighbor, Martin Smith. The dog, shot with a .45 caliber Desert Eagle handgun, died of
its wound minutes later.
Zimmerman, who had complained about the dog being on his property in the past, and previously claimed it
had been aggressive toward him, according to a Pemberville Police report, said that he shot the dog
because it had approached him with hackles raised "like it was going to attack" him.
Smith contested that claim.
According to the police report, one of Smith’s juvenile children was approximately 15 feet away from
Zimmerman when he shot the dog, though the report also indicates that Zimmerman told the child to stand
clear, and aimed away from the child.

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