Dog shooting suspect trial date confirmed

Christopher Zimmerman in
court with his attorney on Monday. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

A former Pemberville man charged in connection with the shooting and killing of his neighbor’s dog last
fall appeared in Wood County court for a pretrial hearing Monday.
Christopher Zimmerman, 64, currently of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee, appeared in the courtroom of Judge
Reeve Kelsey. The Aug. 13 trial date for Zimmerman, now sporting a beard, was confirmed during the brief
hearing.
"If some other resolution develops, we will notify the court well in advance of the trial
date," said Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson.
Zimmerman had previously been indicted on two counts of endangering children in the incident.
His case made headlines and roused local ire in September after he reportedly shot a six-month-old
mixed-breed dog, named "Puppy," belonging to his neighbor, Martin Smith, in the 100 block of
West College Avenue in the village.
According to a police report, the Smiths had been warned by the dog warden and Wood County Sheriff’s
Office to keep the animal on their property, but the animal got on Zimmerman’s land, and Zimmerman
exited his residence with a .45-caliber Desert Eagle handgun. One of Smith’s children reportedly tried
to retrieve the dog before it entered Zimmerman’s property.
Zimmerman had indicated to police that it appeared the dog was going to attack him, and he shot at and
hit the animal in the presence of two of Smith’s children, telling the boy coming after the dog to
"get the hell away" before firing. One of the children was approximately 10 to 15 feet away
from Zimmerman at the time; Zimmerman reportedly fired the weapon towards the rear of his residence and
away from the nearest child.
The dog ran back to Smith’s property and died minutes later.
Zimmerman had filed a police report the previous month alleging the animal acted in an aggressive manner
towards him and allegedly stated that he would "shoot the damn thing" if the dog came near him
again while he was on his property.
In the report of the shooting, the responding officer wrote that, based on the placement of the bullet
wound, "the dog could not have been running towards (Zimmerman) as he had stated."
Zimmerman was originally charged in Bowling Green Municipal Court with injuring an animal, inducing panic
and discharging firearms. He was later indicted on the endangering charges in Wood County Court of
Common Pleas. The endangering charges, third-degree felonies, each carry a mandatory three-year firearms
specification.
Following the incident, Zimmerman’s residence was egged, and he subsequently moved out of state.