Western Washington Man Charged With Animal Cruelty After Dog Fatally Shot in Front of 11-Year-Old

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A Des Moines man was charged Thursday with first-degree animal cruelty and reckless endangerment after he allegedly shot a dog twice in front of the animal's 11-year-old owner, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Curtis Madden, 64, was charged with animal cruelty for intentionally killing the 5-year-old male boxer named Tyson in the 1800 block of South 243rd Street on Wednesday after it got away from the girl, according to charging papers.

Madden was also charged with reckless endangerment for firing his handgun toward the feet of the 11-year-old girl on a suburban street, according to charging papers.

The girl told police she was walking Tyson when she tripped and lost control of the leash. The dog began chasing Madden's dog, a black Lab, according to the documents.

The young girl told police she called for her dog. Tyson turned around and was making his way back to her when Madden shot him, according to the charging papers.

Tyson was circling the girl while whining and limping when Madden shot the dog a second time, killing him, while screaming profanities, prosecutors allege.

The girl told police she was fearful the second shot was directed at her when Madden pointed the gun, according to documents. Police estimated Madden was about 8 feet away from the girl when he fired his gun the second time, according to the charges.

Madden told officers he was walking his dog, Max, when another dog attacked the black Lab, according to court documents.

An officer noted Madden's dog was roaming the roadway without a leash and said there was no sign of an injury on his dog during the initial field interview, according to the charges. Police said they found no evidence that Madden's dog had been attacked, prosecutors wrote.

A neighbor told police he saw Madden's dog run past his house while a second dog, Tyson, followed closely behind, charging papers allege.

Madden's dog then raced back down the street a short time later, according to the charging documents, while Tyson walked slowly, stopping to urinate on a mailbox. Max was no longer in sight when the neighbor saw Tyson walk toward a female voice, according to the documents.

The neighbor then reportedly heard gunshots. The neighbor told police Madden was boastful about shooting the 11-year-old's dog when he asked about it, prosecutors allege.

Madden told police that every time he walked past the 11-year-old girl's home, the boxer would bark at his dog and go up to the fence, according to documents.

Neighbors who witnessed the incident told police they never saw Tyson attack Madden's dog and that there was significant space between both dogs, according to the court documents.

Madden did not express "remorse" about shooting the dog in front of the girl,   according to documents.

Madden's arraignment is Jan. 27.

Animal cruelty cases have increased since the pandemic began, according to the prosecutor's office. In 2019, nine animal cruelty cases were filed. In 2020, 25 cases were filed, and in 2021, 21 cases were filed, according to the office.