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Atlantic Man Convicted in Fatal Shooting of Dog

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ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) A western Iowa man who fatally shot a dog has been convicted of misdemeanor animal abuse.

A jury in Atlantic took around 30 minutes to conclude that 56-year-old Charles Cutler, of Marne, was guilty. Cutler faces up to two years in prison when he's sentenced on May 6.

Authorities say Cutler used a shotgun to blast a 1-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever named Wrigley. The dog belonged to Stacey Ernat, a teacher from Denver who had stopped in Marne with her boyfriend to visit her boyfriend's brother. The couple was headed to eastern Iowa.

Cutler testified that Wrigley and another dog that lived nearby with the brother had growled at him. Cutler said he feared for his safety and that of pets, so he got his shotgun and opened fire.

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