Philip H. Taylor, 54, a Bryan area resident of County Road 13, was arrested on Sunday and charged in the Saturday shooting deaths of four dogs in the care of his wife, who is a dog groomer.
According to Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns, the shootings may have stemmed from a domestic dispute. However, Taylor was alone in the home with the dogs at the time of the shootings.
Officials involved in the investigation of the killings, including the Williams County dog warden and the humane society, have refrained from releasing information about the incident, as the case is under investigation and Taylor has a date in court on Thursday to face charges.
Towns said his office is working with the dog warden, the humane society and the county prosecutor’s office to possibly levy additional charges. “I’d like to see the most charges and the most severe punishment” he can receive for the crime, said Towns.
While investigators haven’t released much about the circumstances around the crime, one of the dog’s owners spoke on Monday about her loss.
Lori Beck was the owner of a 9-pound, 3-year-old Shih Tzu named Lilly Mae.
Lilly Mae was a client of Taylor’s wife.
Beck described her dog as a companion who was important to her recovery after an automobile accident two years ago. “I can’t live without this dog. She was my focus the whole time I was healing.”
Beck said she was told that her dog and the others were in holding pens in the home when they were shot.
Beck said she is at a loss to understand how Taylor could have shot her dog. Taylor was no stranger to Lilly Mae. “Lilly adored him,” said Beck. “He would hand feed her.”
No information with regard to the other three dogs is available, but the complaint against Taylor states, “Taylor … did knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal, to wit: did knowingly shoot and kill 4 separate canine companion animals with a 9mm handgun.”
He faces four fifth-degree felony charges of harm to a companion animal. Each charge carries a possible sentence of six to 12 months of incarceration.
Taylor is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Bryan Municipal Court on Thursday.
In addition to his arrest, Taylor was ordered to surrender all of his firearms to the sheriff’s office, and have no contact with his wife.