Dustin Peck Admits to Shooting, Wounding Bulldog With .22 Birdshot, Cops Say

A Phoenix man admitted he shot his 1-year-old American bulldog in the hind leg with a .22-caliber rifle on Sunday night because he was "upset" with it, cops say.

The wounded dog was reportedly "extremely friendly and in good spirits" when cops arrived at the man's residence at 401 West Oraibi Drive.

It'll recover sooner than Dustin Peck, 27, will be out of legal trouble.

See also: -Four Indicted in Green Acre Dog-Facility Deaths, Including Son of Senator Jeff Flake

Peck had been drinking heavily on Sunday night when the pup, Jackson, acted somewhat aggressively during feeding time with the "other dogs and pig" on the property. You may be imagining a farm at this point -- but this all happened in the backyard of a single-family home in a neighborhood just south of the Loop 101 near Seventh Avenue. Peck reportedly told his girlfriend he was going to shoot and kill the dog. She turned away from as he grabbed his Ruger .22 rifle, which was loaded with Federal-brand birdshot ammunition, and took the dog out back. She heard four shots, records state.

At about the same time, police received a call from Peck, who'd locked himself in the house and was trying to keep his in-laws out. (County records show Peck doesn't own the home.) Peck talked to police when they got there, cops say, telling them he argued "it was his dog and he could do what he wanted to with it."

Birdshot ammo consists of tiny pellets atop the cartridge instead of a lead slug. Jackson was found bleeding, with injuries to his left side and left hind leg.

Interestingly, police then gave him a lesson on when it would or would not be appropriate to shoot a dog, according to the booking sheet: "Dustin was further told he cannot just shoot a dog because he is upset with it. He was told if the dog was sick or injured and he was in a safe location not in the city he could justify shooting a dog. Dustin was told if the dog was actively attacking a person he could justify shooting it in defense of that person."

Peck didn't go quietly with officers when they tried to arrest him -- he put up a struggle and had to be taken to the ground and handcuffed, police allege. His girlfriend stayed behind with the two children who were in the home. She told police Peck had shot the dog a couple of times previously.

Cops booked Peck into jail on suspicion of three felonies: discharging a firearm within city limits, resisting arrest and animal cruelty.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.