Probation for York man who fatally shot puppy after throwing it across room

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Leonard Antonio Parker Jr.

A Springettsbury Township man has avoided prison for fatally shooting his puppy with a BB gun after hurling it across the floor.

Leonard Antonio Parker Jr., 24, of Skipton Circle, pleaded guilty Nov. 14 to a second-degree misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

Although there was no negotiated agreement for sentencing, the prosecution withdrew a third-degree felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals at the time of Parker's plea, court records state.

Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner sentenced Parker to two years of probation, ordered him to undergo an evaluation regarding possible counseling, complete any required counseling and own no animals during his probationary period, according to court records.

It happened at Parker's former York City home in the 600 block of East Market Street sometime in May 2018, according to charging documents filed by York City Detective Jeremy Mayer.

But police didn't learn about the puppy's death until Nov. 29, 2018, when Parker's former live-in girlfriend reported the incident, according to court documents.

The woman told Mayer that she and Parker were having issues with the puppy, which they obtained in August or September 2017, police said.

"The dog had a habit of getting into the cat litter and making a mess," which angered Parker, Mayer wrote in court documents.

'The dog hid': "Parker Jr. became very upset, grabbed the dog (and) threw him to the ground," Mayer wrote. "The dog hid in the corner of the kitchen. ... Parker Jr. then retrieved his BB gun, returned to the kitchen and began shooting the dog with the BB gun.

"As a result, the dog died from being shot by the BB gun."

On Dec. 3, 2018, Mayer and another city officer went to the home and unearthed the puppy's bones after the ex-girlfriend showed them where she'd buried the dog, court documents state.

Mayer recovered two BB pellets from under flooring in the kitchen, in the spot where Parker's ex-girlfriend said the dog had been hiding when it was shot. Police said they also confiscated the BB gun.

Court documents don't list an age, breed or name for the puppy.

Parker's defense attorney, public defender Connor Tarr, could not be reached for comment Friday, Nov. 22.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.