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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When Bishop was dropped off at the Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Fort Wayne, the puppy had two broken legs.
The 5-month old Scottish Border Collie had been hit by a car, according to the woman who brought Bishop in. She’d found him in a parking lot on Coldwater Road.
But on that morning, Jan. 20, 2022, Dr. Andrew Riebe found the injuries had nothing to do with a vehicle accident. And due to the severity of the injuries, Bishop had to be euthanized, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Steven E. Shannon, 44, was charged in late December with two counts of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal. On Wednesday, Shannon is due to appear in front of Magistrate Sam Keirns to set a trial date in Judge Steven Godfrey’s court, according to court documents.
It won’t be a long walk to the courthouse. Shannon is already at the Allen County Jail on a probation violation and a hold for DeKalb County besides his animal cruelty charges. In June 2021, Shannon was sentenced to five years for burglary, with four years suspended and 112 days of jail credit.
Animal Care and Control officer Jodi Baird contacted the woman who brought Bishop to the vet hospital and her mother. The story at that time was that the puppy had fallen down the stairs at an address in the 500 block of Stratton Road where the woman lived with two men, one being her “on and off” boyfriend, Shannon.
But the woman changed her story once Shannon was back in jail in late December and she no longer feared him, she said. Bishop belonged to the other roommate who was a loving owner, but he wound up in jail.
The night before Bishop was taken to a vet hospital, the woman went to sleep for the evening after letting Bishop out. Shannon, 6 feet 4 inches tall and 260 pounds, was in the basement doing laundry, court documents said.
Around 2:30 a.m., she woke up to hear Bishop “crying and yelping.” She got up and went downstairs to ask Shannon what was going on. He replied “nothing.”
But when she turned around to go back upstairs, she heard Bishop yelp again. She went back to the basement and saw “Bishop laying on the concrete floor next to the washing machine not moving and only able to move his eyes,” court documents said.
Shannon told his “on and off” girlfriend that the puppy “had fallen down the stairs.”
Dr. Jennifer Stresemann at NIVES disagreed. She found that Bishop had “non-accidental blunt force trauma to the body resulting in numerous injuries to the limbs, thoracic cavity and abdominal cavity.”
She said the bruised areas on the body and bleeding into “multiple cavities” indicated that the puppy sustained injuries before he died. Most of his liver lobes were fractured on multiple surfaces due to the force used on him. The breaks in the liver surface caused abdominal bleeding. She determined that the injuries occurred just before the puppy died.
There were also multiple rib fractures in the process of healing, both on the right and left side of the chest, injuries that Bishop sustained in the weeks prior to Jan. 20, 2022, court documents said.
“The puppy was in severe pain due to these injuries. Due to the severity of the injuries and the possibility of long term detrimental complications, the decision was made to have the puppy humanely euthanized,” according to court documents.