Florida suspect admits to shooting neighbors’ dogs, killing 1: police


A Florida suspect was arrested for shooting two of his neighbors’ dogs on Saturday night, police say.

Sorrento resident Sheldon Hayward, 65, was charged with one count of felon possession of a firearm and ammunition and two counts of animal cruelty.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies responded to a Sorrento home at around 9 p.m. on Saturday about an animal cruelty complaint. A woman told officers that Hayward killed her 13-year-old dog, Mary.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by FOX 35 Orlando, the woman and her daughter let their dogs Mary and Miller – who was a service animal – out into their backyard. The family did not realized their gate was open at the time.

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Sheldon Hayward mugshot

Sorrento resident Sheldon Hayward, 65, was charged with animal cruelty and felon possession of a firearm and ammunition. (Lake County Sheriff’s Office)

When the family couldn’t locate the dogs, the mother and daughter went around looking for them. They told police that the dogs were not aggressive.

“When [the daughter] walked out of her residence, she heard one gunshot and did not know it was her neighbor shooting at her dogs,” the affidavit said. “When the second victim walked over to the road, she observed her mother’s dog on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.”

The first dog who was found, Mary, died from her injuries. Her body was reportedly found far away from Hayward’s house.

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Lake County Sheriff's Office exteriors

Lake County Sheriff’s Office says that Hayward admitted to shooting the dogs. (Google Maps)

Hayward also allegedly pointed a gun at the woman and her husband when they approached the dog’s body.

The suspect reportedly admitted that he shot the dogs around five times from his porch. Hayward said the dogs were aggressive, but conceded that they did not growl or bark at him.

“The defendant stated that a group of dogs came over and were aggressive,” the affidavit read. “According to the defendant, the dog jumped on his fence but did not grow[l] or bark at him. He attempted to frighten them with his shovel but they did not leave.”

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Hayward was arrested and booked into Lake County Jail. Fox News Digital reached out to Lake County Sheriff’s Office, but has not heard back.



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