A Rio Rancho man has been charged with extreme animal cruelty for allegedly shooting his dog – a 6-month-old German Shepherd puppy – with a rifle.
The man, Henry Chmilelenko, said he shot his dog because, according to police records, it was “going crazy and running around.”
A witness said the dog, whose name was Kirk, was yelping and crawling after it was shot by Chmilelenko.
Kirk was rushed to a veterinarian after Animal Control Officer Tim Lynch was called to the scene. A determination was made that Kirk had to be euthanized.
Officers “observed Kirk bleeding on the ground, with a gunshot wound to his rear area. He was still panting,” the report said.
On Sept. 3, there were two calls to Rio Rancho Police about the alleged shooting to a home at 424 Southern Blvd. SW.
One was a complaint of a neighbor dispute. The second was the allegation that Chmilelenko was shooting at his dog. Both witnesses, however, said the man had shot his dog.
The calls came in to dispatch a little after 7 p.m.
One witness described Chmilelenko as living alone and an “extreme alcoholic.”
On this day, the witness said, he bought a 12-pack at Walgreens, according to police records.
The witness said she was in her house when she heard a pop, which she believed was a .22-caliber shot. She lifted her curtains and saw Chmilelenko “wearing only a plaid shirt and no pants or underwear – holding a .22-caliber, gray rifle with a long scope.”
Chmilelenko “was on top of his elevated wooden porch, just outside his front door, aiming at his dog running around the gravel at the bottom of the porch ramp. (She saw) Henry take a second shot at the dog, which hit its rear end, cause the dog to yelp out in pain and run around the yard barking in pain.”
The witness “said she was appalled and immediately ran over to Henry’s house in her pajamas. (She) explained she wasn’t going to let Henry kill his 6-month-old shepherd puppy,” the report said.
In the second report, officers said they “had Henry exit his residence with his hands up and empty. After advising Henry of his Miranda Rights, he mentioned his dog, Kirk, was ‘going crazy and running around.’ I then asked Henry a multitude of times if his dog was attacking him, others, was he in fear or if Kirk was lunging at him — Henry continually said ‘no, no.’ He then mentioned he shot at Kirk twice, and that he missed his first shot.”
Chmilelenko tested with a breath alcohol content of .22. He had a .22 Remington 597 rifle in his house that was taken by police.
He was arrested for extreme cruelty to animals and negligent use of a deadly weapon. He was transported to the Sandoval County Detention Center without incident, the report said.