Man Given Costume Option for Slaying Dog

PAINESVILLE, Ohio – A man who shot his Great Dane in the head may have his jail sentence reduced if he dresses up as a dog.

Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti offered Thursday to cut Robert M. Clark’s sentence to 10 days in jail if he wears a Safety Pup costume and visits the city’s five elementary schools. The mascot educates children about issues ranging from traffic safety to drug abuse.

Clark, 38, pleaded no contest to an animal cruelty charge and was sentenced to 180 days in jail for shooting his dog.

Cicconetti suspended all but 30 days of Clark’s sentence if he pays the Lake County Human Society for the dog’s veterinarian bills. The judge then offered to cut an additional 20 days if Clark dresses up as Safety Pup.

Clark was arrested July 3 after neighbors reported hearing the dog’s cries and police found the injured animal. The humane society took the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic, but he suffered brain damage and had to be euthanized, the group said.

Clark is appealing the sentence, court officials said.

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