Man shoots mother during dogfight

Feb. 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM
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PLANTATION, Fla., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida mother was accidentally shot by her son who thought she was being attacked by dogs, police said.

William Hart, 50, of Plantation, said he was trying to protect his mother, Sonia Piccione, 84, from 11 dogs that were attacking her Tuesday night, The Miami Herald reported.

Piccione said she cares for other people's dogs, while four of them were her own.

"I'm their 'Aunt Sonia.' I love all animals. They need me," she said.

On the night of the incident, Piccione said she returned home late with the dogs' dinner and "they got all excited."

Hart said he heard the dogs barking from the garage, converted into a room where he lives. He then ran into the main house.

"I see my mom laying on the ground. She's got two [of the dogs] in a headlock and there are nine on her. My main thing was to protect my mom. Both [of the two dogs] were touching her face," he said.

Hart said he then grabbed his mother's "secret gun" -- a revolver -- aimed where he thought he would not hit his mother and fired twice. He ended up shooting his mother and one of the dogs.

Piccione was taken to Broward General Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

When police arrived, they witnessed what they described as "a hoarding-type situation" and issued the mother and son five animal-cruelty citations for "dogs that were running around outside without adequate shelter" or clean water on the enclosed 1-acre property, a Broward Animal Care spokeswoman said.

Police, however, did not charge Hart for the shooting.

"Shame on them!" Piccione said when she heard about the citations. "It's not true."

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