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Police: York man shoots girlfriend's dog during domestic dispute

Aaron Willis, 43, allegedly shot the Cane Corso in the face from point-blank range while he was involved in a verbal altercation with his girlfriend Thursday.
Credit: Northern York County Regional Police
Aaron Willis

YORK, Pa. — Northern York County Regional Police have charged a 43-year-old York man with animal cruelty and reckless endangerment after he allegedly shot his girlfriend's dog in the face during a domestic dispute Thursday. 

Aaron G. Willis, of the 2300 block of Woodmont Drive, was "highly intoxicated" at the time of the incident, which occurred around 1 a.m. in his home, according to police.

Officers were dispatched to the scene following a call from Willis' girlfriend, who accused him of shooting the dog, which sustained a gunshot wound to its snout and was seriously injured, police say.

Willis allegedly claimed the dog attacked him while he was arguing with his girlfriend, and he shot it in self-defense, according to police.

His girlfriend said Willis shot the dog because he was having difficulty trimming the animal's nails. She told police Willis hit the dog several times before stating he was "tired" of the animal. Willis then went to his gun safe and retrieved a firearm, she claimed.

Willis then came down the steps toward the dog, his girlfriend told police. At that point, she said, she began recording him on her phone. 

Police say they observed the video, which showed Willis in the kitchen of his home, holding a baseball bat in one hand and a handgun in the other. Willis is seen pulling aiming the weapon at the dog and pulling the trigger, but the gun jammed, according to police.

The video recording stopped at that point, police say.

Willis' girlfriend reported that he then cleared the weapon and fired, hitting the male Cane Corso from "point-blank" range, police say. The woman fled from the residence and called 911, according to police.

Willis was taken into custody and arraigned on two counts of cruelty to animals and one count of recklessly endangering another person.

There was no word from police on the condition of the dog.