MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Bradenton man has been arrested after deputies say he tortured a dog and eventually shot it within earshot of officers.
According to a probable cause affidavit, deputies were called after they were notified of a emaciated dog near a home on M-J Road. When they arrived to speak with witnesses, the dog was not on scene. Deputies then heard a single gunshot in the area. Manatee County Animal Services gained access to the property where they found the dog deceased.
Kenneth Harwick admitted to shooting the animal, saying he was in bad health. Neighbors say they had approached Harwick before and asked why the dog was so thin. He tried to explain by saying the dog had eaten some chicken bones. When the neighbor offered to take the dog to the vet, Harwick refused, saying he wasn’t paying for a vet and that he would take care of the dog himself.
In addition to the gunshot wound, a necropsy revealed rat poison in the system. Harwick has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.