Man gets 15 days in jail for killing his dog

Police say Terry Donald Nixon, 60, shot his chihuahua / terrier mix in June because it defecated on the carpet

A Medford man who shot his dog in June then dumped the carcass in a trash can because it had defecated on the carpet will serve 15 days in jail.

Terry Donald Nixon, 60, pleaded guilty to first-degree animal abuse, unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangerment Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

In addition to his jail sentence, Nixon will spend two years on probation and will not be allowed to own animals for five years.

"I realize what I did was wrong, and I can assure you I'll never do it again," Nixon told Judge Kelly W. Ravassipour.

On June 5, police responded to a 911 call in the 400 block of Ross Lane that a chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix had been shot and killed and dumped in the trash. Nixon's nephew witnessed the incident, police reported.

Police knocked on Nixon's door but were denied entry, so authorities obtained a search warrant. During a search of the house, police found a 9 mm handgun, believed to be the weapon used in the killing.

"I'm sure that was a traumatic experience for your nephew to witness," Ravassipour told Nixon.

Court records show Nixon does not have a significant criminal history in Jackson County.

Police said pet owners cannot shoot their animals unless they pose a safety threat.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said animal abuse cases are rare in Medford.

"Luckily we don't (have many)," Budreau said. "Especially animal abuse that results in an animal dying."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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