Man accused of killing autistic child's dog
Gaston Gazette - 11/29/2018
Nov. 29--A man says his four children remain afraid to go outside after someone fatally shot the family's two dogs more than two weeks ago, including one specially trained to help comfort a 2-year-old autistic boy.
Joshua Allen Cadle, 42, of 1016 Old Oak Lane, north of Bessemer City, faces two felony cruelty to animals charges and a misdemeanor charge of firing a firearm in city limits. The incidents occurred Nov. 11 and Gaston County Police charged Cadle on Nov. 28. He was booked into Gaston County Jail at 2:51 a.m. Thursday and released at 4:35 a.m. after posting $3,000 bail.
Cadle said the dogs posed a threat to him, but declined to go into specifics. He said he planned on hiring an attorney.
But the owner of the two dogs, Derek Obrian Johnson, called Cadle a "coward." He said his dogs did not bite and were around his children and other animals without ever a problem. Johnson's home is on a different road, but adjacent to Cadle's home.
One of the dogs killed, a 1-year-old Dutch Malinois named Komba, was trained to help Johnson's non-verbal autistic son. The boy would grow frustrated and bang his head against a wall if he could not communicate well. The dog would help lessen the boy's frustration, Johnson said.
"That dog was bred and trained to show love to a 2-year-old autistic child," Johnson said.
"I think he's a coward to shoot an animal like that," Johnson added. "That dog is worth more to my child than money."
Johnson said the two dogs, which also included a 7-year-old pit bull mix named Lilly, did get out of his fenced yard on Sunday, Nov. 11. He said it was during the afternoon and while he was not home a cousin did attempt to retrieve the dogs until hearing a gunshot.
Lilly suffered for nine hours that day before getting medical treatment, but it was too late and the dog had to be euthanized, Johnson said. Komba, who was found the next day next to the backyard fence, died this week despite efforts to save her, Johnson said. He said he has spent thousands of dollars in veterinary care since the shooting.
The dogs were shot with a 9 mm handgun, according to Gaston County Police. Komba suffered a neck wound, with the bullet exiting the body through the shoulder, Johnson said. Lilly had wounds to her back legs, Johnson said.
Johnson said he has never met Cadle. Because of where the dogs were shot, he does not believe either was acting aggressive toward Cadle.
His children, which include a 7-year-old, newborn and his autistic son, remain scared. Johnson has not gone into specifics about the case with them.
"They just know there's a shooter out there. They don't know that we know who it is," Johnson said. "They don't want to go outside because they're afraid if they do someone's going to shoot them."
You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-869-1823 or Twitter.com/TheGazetteKevin.
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