Police: York Twp. woman fatally shot neighbor's pug

Zoe, 1-year-old pug, was killed when it was shot in York Township on Sept. 1 in York Township. Photo courtesy of the Justice for Zoe Facebook page.

A York Township woman faces charges after police said she fatally shot her neighbor's dog last month.

Joan Marie McClintock, 49, allegedly shot the dog Sept. 1 when it was on her property in the 3100 block of Old Dutch Lane, York Area Regional Police said.

The dog, a 1-year-old female pug named Zoe, died from its injuries the following day.

Police said McClintock fired two warning shots to scare the dog, but when the dog didn't leave, she shot it in the rear end.

McClintock faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a felony, and misdemeanor offenses of cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person.

As of the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 8, she had not been arraigned on the charges, which were filed Monday, Oct. 7.

Incident: Charging documents state when Zoe's owner, Brian Timcheck, was letting his other dog out the pug ran out of the garage at his home in the 3100 block of Skylight Drive.

Timcheck was searching for his dog in the area of McClintock's property, according to police. Her property's backyard abuts Timcheck's, and there is no fence between the two, police said.

Timecheck heard two gunshots and then another and saw Zoe get hit, police said. Zoe had been running around several bird cages on McClintock's property, court documents state.

Timcheck picked Zoe up and immediately left for an animal emergency center, police said.

Police spoke to McClintock, who said she saw Zoe scaring birds in her bird coop, so she fired two warning shots with her rifle, charging documents allege.

When Zoe did not leave, she reloaded the rifle and shot the dog in its "back end," according to police. McClintock heard Timcheck yell and she went inside her home, court documents state.

McClintock said she did not see any loose birds near the dog when she fired, according to police. 

Zoe was not pursuing or killing the birds, and the birds were inaccessible to it, police said. McClintock, police said, was not justified in shooting the dog.

Additionally, Timcheck was less than 200 feet from McClintock when she fired the gun, which put him in danger, court documents state.

Timcheck took the dog to a local animal hospital and later to a specialty hospital in Malvern, Chester County.

The dog died from its injuries on Sept. 2. Police said the Timchecks paid more than $5,600 for treatment, according to charging documents. 

Tammy Timcheck, Brian's wife, told The York Dispatch on Tuesday that Zoe was a loving, sweet dog.

"If a dog could be a free spirit, it would be her," she said.

The dog, she said, weighed 10½ pounds. 

Tammy Timcheck said there is a lot of space between their home and McClintock's property. She said she didn't know McClintock.

“We’re still in disbelief, really," Tammy Timcheck said.

McClintock could not be reached Tuesday for comment. 

A Facebook page was created in the days following Zoe's death called "Justice for Zoe." The page had 400 followers as of Tuesday afternoon. 

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.