GREENWOOD, Ind. — A Greenwood woman was charged with animal cruelty after she shot her neighbor’s dog that had gotten out of its fence.
Court documents show that on the afternoon of Feb. 4, 73-year-old Marian E. Martin called 911 to report an aggressive, tan pit bull running loose on Vanhoy Drive in Greenwood and “attacking people and their dog.” About 10 minutes later, Marian called again and said the dog came at her, and she shot at the dog.
A deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 420 block of Vanhoy Drive, where he was waved down by a man who claimed to have witnessed the incident. He pointed the deputy in the direction of the dog’s owners in the 4400 block of Annelo Drive, a short distance from Martin’s home. There the deputy spoke with the dog’s owners and met Polo, a tan pit bull who had been shot in the shoulder, court documents state. The owners told the deputy they believed Polo got out of their fence through a gate that was left open. After speaking with the deputy, the owners took Polo to a veterinarian, who treated the dog for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
When deputies spoke with Martin, she told them her two dogs were attached to a lead in her front yard when she heard them bark. She said she opened the door to find a tan pit bull in the middle of them. Martin told the deputies she shooed the pit bull away by yelling and clapping before bringing her dogs inside unharmed.
Martin said a few minutes later, she heard yelling and looked outside to see a woman walking her dog and pushing a stroller. Marian claimed the woman was upset that the pit bull went after her dog and then continued north on Vanhoy Drive, court documents say.
Martin continued to explain to deputies that she decided to “warn” her neighbor in the 600 block of Vanhoy Drive — two houses from Martin — who sometimes kept his dogs outside with an electric fence. She said she brought her .22 caliber Ruger revolver because she had previously been attacked by dogs several times, per court documents. Martin rang his Ring doorbell, but no one answered the door. As she was still on the porch, Martin said the tan pit bull appeared again and looked at her from about 10 feet away. She said she “panicked” and shot at the dog twice, documents state. Martin said the dog “yelped and lifted up one leg” before running off.
A deputy reviewed the Ring doorbell video footage.
“After ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door with no reply, Marian can be heard quietly saying what sounds like ‘I’ll just shoot it,'” the deputy says in court documents.
A few seconds later, Polo appeared.
“Marian then raises the gun, cocks it, and aims in the direction of Polo, who appears to have little interest in Marian,” details the deputy. “Polo stops about 6-8 feet from Marian, lowers his nose to the ground and begins to sniff the grass. Marian takes four steps in the direction of Polo and shoots once, causing him to yelp and take off running beside the residence. Polo then turns and limps by the porch second time, when she shoots at him second time.”
Deputies spoke with two witnesses. One — the man who initially pointed the deputy in the direction of Polo’s owners — said he was outside smoking and saw Martin ring her neighbor’s doorbell before shooting Polo. He said Polo was not going to attack her, documents state.
The other witness was the woman who Martin heard yell. She told the deputies she was walking her dog with her son, who was on a bicycle. The woman said Polo approached them twice, but both times she yelled “no” at Polo, and Polo would turn and walk away. Court documents show that the woman also said she saw Martin standing outside with a gun and spoke with her about the dog. The woman claimed she told Martin, “Don’t shoot that dog,” before continuing her walk.