Polk County authorities say tips from the public have led to an arrest of a man who’s accused of shooting a dog. Fourty-nine-year-old Bernard Lear of Altoona was arrested around 11 o’clock last night. The animal was found in a wooded area on Des Moines’ northwest side Saturday evening. Polk County Deputy Sheriff Jana Rooker says the English bulldog was badly injured.
“It was discovered by three people who were walking back into the woods as Mr. Lear was walking out, however we didn’t know his identity at the time,” Rooker said. “He had shot the dog prior to these people finding it. They found it severely injured and notified local law enforcement.” The dog, which was owned by a relative of Lear, had to be put down on Tuesday at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Lear is charged with animal abuse.
The charge is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. Lear is facing two additional charges. “He’s also been charged with felon in possession of a weapon and he had a warrant for failure to pay child support,” Rooker said. Lear made his initial court appearance this morning. The Humane Society and Polk County Crime Stoppers had both offered rewards for information leading to an arrest in the case.