Animal Cruelty Charge Filed in Dog Park Shooting
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Animal Cruelty Charge Filed in Dog Park Shooting

An animal cruelty charge has been filed against a man who shot and killed a dog at a Clear Lake-area dog park in January.

Joseph Potts, 27, is not yet in custody, according to a Harris County Sheriff's Office press release. But the real lesson here, according to what has to be the most tone-deaf press release of the year so far, is to keep your dog or cat "under restraint."

That's right: the take-away from this unfortunate incident is not that you shouldn't fire a gun multiple times at a dog park, but to make sure your dog is on a leash. Even at a dog park.

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Specifically, here's what Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia wants you to know:

Harris County animal regulations state that "All dogs and cats must be kept under restraint while in the unincorporated areas of Harris County, Texas. The custodian of a dog or cat is not authorized to have, harbor or keep any unlicensed dog or cat, nor to allow any dog or cat to become a stray."

Restraint is defined as "the control of a dog or cat under the following circumstances: 1. When it is controlled by a line or leash not more than six (6) feet in length, if the line or leash is held by a human being, who is capable of controlling or governing the dog or cat in question 2. When it is within a fully enclosed vehicle 3. When it is on the premise of the custodian and the animal does not have access to sidewalk or street.

We're pleasantly surprised, as the witnesses told us that they got the feeling that investigators didn't really think a crime occurred, and seemed more interested in telling witnesses that Potts had a conceal-carry license, as if that were relevant. We're eager to see how this one plays out.

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