• Bessemer City man facing animal cruelty charges in shooting of neighbor's two dogs

    By: Ken Lemon

    Updated:

    BESSEMER CITY, N.C. - A Bessemer City man is facing charges in the shooting and killing of his neighbor's two dogs last Friday.

    [RELATED: Fort Mill man's emotional support dog shot to death: 'People are sick']

    Joshua Cadle appeared in front of a judge on two felony counts of animal cruelty Thursday afternoon. He claims he shot his neighbor’s dogs because they threatened him.

    The dogs’ owner, Derek Johnson, said the dogs were a part of his family and he doesn't believe they threatened Cadel.

    According to officials, the dogs got out of their fenced area and reportedly encountered Cadle, who lives in the same Bessemer City community.

    Cadel claims the dogs threatened him, but Johnson said veterinarians told him the dogs were shot from behind as they moved away from the suspect.

    "I don't see how dogs show a threat, and you shoot them in their backs," Johnson said.

    [RELATED: Criminal summons issued for driver who tethered dog to rear cargo carrier of Jeep]

    One of the dogs, a 1-year-old Belgium shepherd, Komba, was trained to work with children with sensory issues and was a major help to Johnson's 2-year-old son.

    "Pretty much gave him a companion," Johnson said.

    Johnson told Channel 9 his son saw the dogs after they were shot, and he is traumatized.

    "He (Komba) was shot through the back of the neck," Johnson said.

    Officials said the dog's injuries were so serious they had to be put down.

    Cadle is out of jail on bond.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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