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Doggone lucky
Wounded pet survives; man faces several charges
Buster Shot 4 es
Veterinarian technician Jayce Jackson carries Buster into Orr Animal Hospital on Friday. - photo by Emily Saunders

It appears the man charged with shooting a dog last week in a northwestern Forsyth subdivision has had frequent run-ins with his neighbors.

Jonathan Hee, 51, of Green Summers Drive in the Green Summers subdivision, was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, disorderly conduct, reckless conduct and discharging a firearm from a public road by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. The aggravated cruelty charge is a felony.

Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said Hee was released that night after posting a $3,250 bond.

According to a sheriff’s report, Hee was on a walk in the Green Summers neighborhood when Buster, a 50-pound Labrador-beagle mix, ran out from his yard and approached Hee.

Buster’s owner, 23-year-old Laura Hanson, chased Buster to the road and grabbed him by his harness, the report said.

Hee yelled profanities at Hanson as she approached and reportedly pulled a small-caliber handgun out of his pocket and aimed it at the dog.

According to the report, as she backed away, Hanson let go of Buster and repeatedly said, “No, please don’t.”

Hanson said Hee then shot Buster three times, wounding him in the neck, ear and chest.

Hanson said Buster barked at Hee on Thursday because he was screaming at her. According to the report, Hee said he was defending himself from the dog.

“Mr. Hee stated multiple times that he wished he had not shot the dog and would wait until a dog bit him in the future before shooting one again,” the report said.

Hanson said it’s a miracle Buster is alive. Although he is expected to survive, she said she can’t look at him without crying.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” Hanson said. “It didn’t really hit me yesterday. I was more shocked and today he’s just not himself. It’s really sad.”

A woman who answered the phone at Hee’s residence declined to comment on the matter. Hee was not there, she said, and has not hired a lawyer.

Susan Tesone lives next door to Hee. She said she has had problems with him in the past and that he has complained to authorities about her two schnauzers.

According to a sheriff’s report filed in December 2006, Hee contended the dogs were barking and asked the deputy who responded if the dogs were barking enough to break county ordinances.

Tesone said she had left her dogs in her fenced-in backyard that night and was gone 40 minutes. When she returned, a deputy was parked at her house.

“He told me that when he pulled up the dogs were not barking and that the dogs did not bark until he went through the back fence and shined a light in the backyard,” she said.

Tesone said one of her dogs was treated in spring 2007 for what her veterinarian thought was poisoning. About a month later, Hee complained again about the dogs.

According to the report, dated May 18, 2007, Hee told the investigating deputy that he would “go to desperate measures to get some relief if he had to.”

The deputy noted it seemed Hee was threatening to kill the dogs.

“He’s had issues with other people in here after this,” Tesone said. “He’s had issues with the people behind me.”

Sandy Dwyer, who also lives in Green Summers, said she was outside talking to a neighbor when the shooting occurred.

Dwyer said she heard three pops and thought at first they were fireworks.

“I just can’t believe that a man is allowed to walk in a subdivision at 2:15 in the afternoon carrying around a pistol,” she said. “It was just absolutely horrific ... He knew the owner was standing there and he did it anyway.”

The sheriff’s report listed the weapon as a Ruger LCP .380, but did not indicate whether Hee had a license to carry the weapon.

The report indicated the weapon was still loaded and holstered when found at Hee’s house.

Dwyer recalled an incident about a year ago where Hee came to her house and introduced himself.

She said he then started asking her if she had heard Tesone’s dogs barking.

She said Hee told her he had 1,500 hours of video footage of the dogs and how often they barked, but authorities wouldn’t listen to him anymore.

She said he asked her if she would also complain in order to have something done about them, but she told him no.