Fayetteville Man Kills Girlfriend’s Dogs, Police Say

short mugshot

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.

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