The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 3, 2012

Dog shooter pleads guilty

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

DANVILLE — It took Suzanne Thomas a while to admit Monday morning she willfully and maliciously shot and killed a neighbor’s dog.

Thomas, 57, of Derry Township, told Columbia-Montour Counties President Judge Thomas James Jr. she was pleading guilty to shooting and killing Georgia, a yellow Labrador on Jan. 21.

The judge asked her if she was pleading guilty to tying the dog to a tree and shooting her three times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle.

“I didn’t shoot the dog three times. I did shoot the animal,” Thomas told the judge.

“It was a killer dog. It had killed my animal,” Thomas said.

The judge asked her again if she willfully and maliciously killed a domesticated dog. “She admitted it,” her attorney Kim Hill said.

“I don’t consider it malicious — it was self-defense,” Thomas said. “The dog killed my pet in front of me.”

“The plea has to be knowingly and willingly and voluntary or else it shouldn’t be done,” the judge told Thomas.

When he asked again, she replied, “yes, sir.”

She pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals. It carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Thomas claims Georgia and her puppy, Tank, broke into her rabbit pen and killed the rabbit.

James ordered a check of her record. She will be sentenced later.