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Andrew James

Criminal charges filed in two Menahga dog shooting cases

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MENAHGA -- Two Menahga men have been charged with cruelty to animals in the shootings of two Labrador retrievers last fall in a rural Hubbard County subdivision.

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A third neighborhood dog was allegedly poisoned and died, but no charges have been filed in that case.

Andrew Eugene Leece James, 23, faces a felony charge of Cruelty to Animals and a gross misdemeanor charge of Third Degree Criminal Property Damage in the shooting of a chocolate Lab Oct. 19. The dog died two days later.

"James stated he shot the dog because the dog had come onto his property and chased after a deer," the complaint states.

Neighbors said the 11-year-old Lab was arthritic and confined to its own yard at the time of the shooting. The complaint states the fatal rifle shot came from a nearby residence where the men lived.

Dustin Lee Kako, 21, faces two gross misdemeanors in the October incident in which a yellow Lab was shot with a bow and arrow; Cruelty to Animals and Third Degree Criminal Property Damage. Both charges carry a maximum of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine upon conviction.

"Kako stated the dog was a nuisance and was on his property all the time chasing deer," the criminal complaint states.

Jacob the Lab's vet bills to remove the arrow from its midsection are up to $900, the complaint states. The dog made a miraculous recovery.

James' felony cruelty charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine upon conviction.

The other count, a gross misdemeanor, is punishable by a maximum of one year and/or a $3,000 fine.

The men are scheduled to appear in Hubbard County District Court later this month.

The Arcade Loop subdivision where the shootings occurred is in the southern tip of Hubbard County, but residents have Menahga addresses.

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