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Charges: Man shot and killed dog for peeing on his trees

It happened in small town south of Mankato.

A 63-year-old southern Minnesota man has been charged with felony animal cruelty after shooting and killing a dog. 

Charges filed in Blue Earth County reveal that Brian Joel Johnson of Good Thunder admitted to police that he shot and killed a dog that came into his yard and urinated on his trees. 

The offense occurred on the afternoon of June 3, when an officer from the Tri-City Police Department received a report of a dog vomiting in the street in the City of Good Thunder, which the officer believed to be the result of the dog eating poison. 

The dog was taken to a local veterinarian for treatment. Two days later the officer learned that the dog had died. An autopsy was conducted a week later and the veterinarian determined that the dog wasn't poisoned, but died from a .77 caliber pellet that was shot into its abdomen. 

On June 14, Tri-City police received a tip from a woman who claimed to know who shot the dog. The investigation resulted in police interviewing Johnson on June 20, during which Johnson admitted to shooting the dog because he was "sick of the dog always coming into his yard and urinating on his trees," the criminal complaint says. 

Johnson said the dog was killing two of his trees and added that the breed of the dog, which hasn't been revealed, made him fear for the safety of his grandchildren. Johnson, however, told police that he had never witnessed the dog act in an aggressive manner. 

The officer conducting the interview took a look at Johnson's trees and found one area to be dying, but he couldn't determine if it was from the dog's urine or from another cause. 

If convicted, Johnson faces up to two years in jail and/or a $7,000 fine. 

Good Thunder is a town of 583 people, located about 15 miles south of Mankato. 

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