Former pastor accused of drowning dog

A former pastor will be in court Tuesday morning in Gaston County after he was accused of trying to drown his own dog.

Someone in the neighborhood heard gunshots, they went to see what was going on and found that former pastor with a gun. The dog didn't get shot, but it was lying in the water.

Animals aren't an unusual sight here along Chapel Grove Road in Gaston County where the incident took place. People who live here have their own dogs and a few other four-legged animals roaming around, but they also say that this is a place animals are routinely abandoned.

"People here drop them off back behind the old fish camp. They'll drop them off, and I’ve taken in a lot of cats and stuff over the years,” neighbor James Moody said. 

Moody has lived in the area for over 30 years. He sometimes winds up taking in those animals—the ones that nobody else wants.

"I’ve got 14 goats and four dogs left out of 12."

When we told him about what happened here just a few weeks ago, he wasn't happy. Gaston County police say Steve Bynum drove from one end of the county to the other to kill is 17-year-old deaf and blind dog.

Authorities tell FOX 46 that another neighbor went to investigate after hearing gunshots. Bynum was found with a gun. The dog wasn’t shot but it was lying in the water.

The good Samaritan pulled the dog out of the water, but by then, it was too late.

"It does surprise me, it shouldn't happen, but then again, I’m not surprised, either, that anything happens anymore,” Moody said. 

Police tell FOX 46 there is a strange irony in all this. They say Bynum didn't have to do this. The county offers pet euthanasia services that are humane, for free.

They say Bynum admitted to the deed, and because of that, he's now facing felony charges.

"If he was in my scope or jurisdiction, I might be a little more harsh than most law."

Police say they found out, while talking to him, that he is a former pastor, though he didn't say with which church. The area where the incident took place, however, was near a motorcycle ministry.