SW side man faces charges after shooting his dog

Robert Smot­herman, 39, said the pet had become ‘vicious’

SAN ANTONIO - A Southwest side man who said he was only trying to protect his family is facing criminal charges for shooting his dog.

Bexar County sheriff’s deputies responded to the neighborhood near Loop 1604 and Marbach Rd. around 5 p.m. Wednesday for a call about shots fired.

They said they found out that Robert Smotherman, 39, had shot his dog outside his home.

The animal did not die right away, but had to be euthanized by Animal Care Services, according to a spokeswoman for the agency.

Smotherman was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and deadly conduct for firing his gun. He was released from jail after posting a bonds totaling $25,000.

At his home Thursday morning, Smotherman admitted to shooting his family pet, but he said it was out of necessity to protect his family.

“The animal was vicious,” he said. “I have young children in my home. I have a new baby on the way.”

Smotherman said he fired the shots at “Whiskey” after the 7-month-old Mastiff-Boxer mix bit him twice on the hand and arm. He said he feared for his family’s safety.

“When that dog became aggressive towards me, I can’t believe he’s not going to be aggressive towards them at some point,” he said. “My family is more important than a dog. I’m sorry.”

Smotherman said he recently spent more than $200 on a large backyard pen to keep the dog away from his kids. He said the animal had become aggressive in the past, and his plan was to train it to be more docile.

He said he regrets what happened, but did what he is trained to do. Smotherman said he’s a veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a former police officer.

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