An Eagle Point burglar was sentenced Monday to three years and five months in prison after shooting his neighbor's dog with a shotgun.
The blast destroyed the dog's front leg, and she had to have her shoulder and leg amputated, said the dog's owner, Stephen Wyatt.
Timothy Duane Qualls, 24, of the 6400 block of Monte Vista Court in Eagle Point, was sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court after earlier pleading guilty to first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree animal abuse. In addition to serving prison time, Qualls must pay $6,722 in restitution and is banned from owning animals for five years.
At about 7 a.m. Jan. 12, Wyatt's daughter left to go to school and Wyatt also left their house on Monte Vista Court, not far from Qualls' house. While out shopping for dog food, Wyatt said, a neighbor called him to report a gunshot at his house at about 8 a.m. The neighbor reportedly saw Qualls leaving Wyatt's house carrying a shotgun, Wyatt said.
Wyatt drove home and found his dog, Xena, severely injured. The middle of Xena's leg was essentially blown away, with only fur connecting the dog's upper and lower leg. He rushed her to a veterinarian, where the dog's leg and shoulder were amputated, Wyatt said.
Wyatt said a double-sided ax that was normally stored outside was in the house, and there were shotgun holes in his house. He said Qualls came into his house with the ax, found the shotgun and fired shots, including the one that struck his dog.
Wyatt said he hates to think about what could have happened if he and his daughter had been home when Qualls entered.
"It's just scary," Wyatt said. "I didn't sleep for the first two weeks after that happened. Who could?"
Qualls told Jackson County sheriff's investigators he was under the influence of LSD and mushrooms at the time of the incident and didn't remember his actions, according to an affidavit.
"I would like to apologize," Qualls said in court.
Wyatt said he is satisfied with the prison sentence meted out to Qualls, but he wishes Qualls would have been banned from owning animals for the rest of his life, rather than for five years. Wyatt said the $6,722 in restitution would cover veterinary bills and damage to his house from the shotgun.
As for Xena, she left the veterinary clinic two days after being shot, walking on her three remaining legs.
"She's doing awesome," Wyatt said. "She gets even more attention now."
In 2013, Qualls pleaded guilty to contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor and attempted third-degree sexual abuse after impregnating a 16-year-old, who later miscarried, and trying to grope another 16-year-old, who rejected his advances, according to court records and a probable cause affidavit.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor in another case involving the first girl from the 2013 case, according to an affidavit and court records.
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or email@example.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.