Police arrest Medford man after dog is shot

Terry Donald Nixon is accused of killing his canine after it defecated in his home

A Medford man allegedly shot his dog in the shoulder at close range and killed it, then dumped the body in a trash can Wednesday because the animal had defecated in his home, police said.

Terry Donald Nixon, 60, of the 400 block of North Ross Lane, is being held in the Jackson County Jail on charges of aggravated animal abuse, unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and second-degree disorderly conduct. His bail is set at $17,000.

"Fortunately, it's not a very common (type of) case," said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.

Police responded at 9:02 p.m. Wednesday to a 911 call that a dog had been shot and killed. Responding officers talked to witnesses, one of whom reported finding the dog, a chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix, in a trash can and took it home. Another witness reported seeing Nixon shoot the dog in his backyard. Police said Nixon was intoxicated at the time.

When officers knocked on Nixon's door, he allegedly refused to let them in, saying he didn't know anything about a dead dog.

"He initially denied knowledge of anything," Budreau said.

Authorities obtained a search warrant and entered the home. They found a 9mm handgun, believed to be the weapon used in the shooting. During the investigation, police determined Nixon was the dog's owner and that he had shot the animal in his backyard at close range.

He admitted to police during questioning that he shot the dog, said Budreau, who added that animal-abuse cases are one of the few types of cases where police are mandated to make an arrest.

Nixon does not appear to have any significant criminal history in Jackson County, court records show.

Budreau said dog owners cannot shoot their pets unless they fear for someone's safety. Whether the shooting occurs on their property, and whether the dog is theirs doesn't matter.

"It's still not legal," he said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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