Fayetteville Man Kills Girlfriend’s Dogs, Police Say

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A Fayetteville man was arrested Tuesday after police say he killed two of his girlfriend’s dogs.

John Christopher Short, 32, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated animal cruelty and probation violation. He remained Tuesday night in the Washington County Detention Center on $7,500 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Short’s arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Police said Short injured his girlfriend’s dog Esther in March. The dog later died from her injuries. He then killed the replacement dog Hector, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Washington County.

Fayetteville police first became aware of the situation in April after speaking with the dog owner’s mother. Officers later contacted the owner. She said she returned from work one day to find her dog injured. Doctors at a local animal clinic determined Esther had a fractured femur in the rear right leg. The dog’s leg was amputated, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Five days later, the dog’s owner woke up to find her ill. She took her dog back to the clinic “where there was speculation that the dog was being abused,” the affidavit states.

The woman was sent home with prescription medication for the dog. Esther died later that night.

The woman replaced Esther with a puppy named Hector. Her boyfriend Short “would become very upset when the dog would defecate on the floor,” according to the affidavit.

The woman told police she returned home from work one day to find short sitting on the couch in a nonchalant manner. Short told her the puppy was on a pillow and, “It is not breathing. I think it is dead,” the affidavit states.

Short told the woman the dog jumped off of the deck in the back yard. The woman placed the dog in the freezer to maintain him until proper cremation could be arranged, according to the arrest warrant.

A doctor with the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission later performed a necropsy on the puppy and found the dead was caused by “blunt force trauma to the skull with multiple fractures to the skull, resulting in brain hemorrhage,” the affidavit states.

That injury is not consistent with a fall, according to a doctor with the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

Based on the investigation and necropsy, authorities issued a warrant for Short’s arrest Aug. 8. He was arrested and jailed about two weeks later.

Short shot and killed a man in 2012 while the two struggling over a rifle, according to Fayetteville police. Court records show no charges from that case. Click here to read more on the deadly shooting.

He pleaded guilty in 2013 to assault and domestic battery following a physical altercation with his girlfriend. Short served one day in jail and was sentenced to one year of probation, court records show.


  • Sarah 300

    This man should be locked up for a long time. Bond should have been higher. Cruelty towards animals is sickening and sociopathic.
    If you know or see anyone hurting an animal, call the police.

    • unbelievable

      dead/death what difference does it make. Glad the typo police are on the ball today. Most people will read the article and when they come to that word the brain will recognize the word as if it was typed correctly.

  • honey badger

    This guy needs to experience some blunt force trauma himself! It takes a big, make that Short, man to kill a puppy.

  • Velda

    This guy should be beat with in an inch of his life.

    These poor pets had no way to defend themselves.

    This guy makes me sick.

    He could of at least took the poor dogs to a big neighborhood full of kids and “dumped” it, vs simply killing them.

    No that either action is right, but at least with the dump, the poor dogs would still be alive.

  • atc8824

    Well this lady better wise up before she has a so called bad life threatening injury.If a man abuses a dog he will abuse a human.Get out now because I love him isn’t reason to stay in an abusive situation.

  • unbelievable

    He is a sick sadistic person. Anyone that harms an animal is capable of harming a child or anyone else that “upsets” him. If anyone ever hurt either one of my dogs there would be h*ll to pay. I would end up being arrested for batter when I was finished giving them a dose of their own medicine.

  • Sarah 300

    What a pathetic life this man has led. He should have been locked up two or three times. In a scuffle and one man dies, you can make up any old story you want. Evil.

  • Nh911

    Obviously no one making comments knows Chris Short. He is a decorated war veteran with a Purple Heart. There are many other factors behind this that his friends and family are trying to figure out. He lost his leg for our country. What happy to innocent until proven guilty?

  • Cat

    I don’t care if he’s a decorated war veteran, Maybe his “service” is what screwed him up in the first place and got him such a slap on the whrist for the incident with the other man and the rifle. Had it been anyone else charges would have been filed. Being a vet doesn’t give you the right to abuse women and animals. Where is the honor in that?

  • Jim smith

    Honey Badger, he has taken blunt force trauma. He was blown up in Afghanistan by an IED fighting for our freedom. He also has saved the lives of many people and animals.
    He’s done a lot of crazy stuff and I believe it all, except for this. He has a heart for animals that I don’t.

  • Bea

    Not only is Chris a decorated war veteran, he has rescued countless stray animals over the years and even saved his ex-wife’s asthmatic dog’s life by giving it mouth to mouth. This is not a man who would kill a puppy. What the article fails to mention is that the woman in question was living at his home rent free without a job for months, and only brought these charges after being kicked out for refusing to get a job. I definitely question her motives.

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