A Key West woman, who police say likes to bark and squawk at animals in anger, faces up to 364 days in the county jail for attacking her neighbor's dog with a type of stun gun in 2016.
Shirlee Hiller, 55, was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty May 1 at the Monroe County Courthouse.
Judge Mark Wilson found her guilty of using a black electric cane to hurt a 45-pound pit bull mix named Trotter that was barking next-door on Nov. 4, 2016..
Hiller also faces a fine of up to $5,000.
The incident took place in the 2900 block of Patterson Avenue, after Hiller began yelling at her neighbor’s dog, which had started barking in his owner’s backyard “because of activity at the Kmart loading area directly behind,” police said.
Permelia Smith let out Trotter, owned by Elam Thornbrugh.
Trotter started barking and Hiller began barking back and yelling.
Smith told police that seconds after the barking began she heard “a bug zapping noise.” When she looked outside, she saw the dog “going nuts” and attacking the six-foot-tall wooden fence, according to the police report, as Hiller jabbed a long black stick, which prosecutors called an electric cane, through a hole.
Electric canes are sold as self-defense devices.
“Ms. Smith said she saw electricity flowing through the end of the stick as it touched the dog,” Officer Kristopher Bouvier wrote.
The dog had blisters, bumps and redness on the inside of his legs, hips and groin “consistent with being exposed to an electric weapon,” Bouvier said.
Hiller told police she never attacked the dog and only threatened to stun him.
The black-and-white dog was taken to the vet and had no permanent injuries.
Hiller was angry earlier in the day because Smith’s bird was squawking in the yard, said State Attorney Office spokesman Larry Kahn.
Hiller allegedly imitated the bird’s sounds and told Smith to put the bird inside. Her sentencing date is Sept. 23.