Neighbor accused of shooting dog with air rifle in Maple Shade

William Stroemel is accused of shooting his neighbor's 9-year-old dog, Toby.

A man is accused of shooting his neighbor's dog with an air rifle in Maple Shade, New Jersey. The dog was euthanized as a result of the injuries sustained. 

The investigation began on Sept. 18 after police were contacted by the dog's owners, who live on the 800 block of Greenwood Avenue. They told police that the poodle, Toby, had been discovered howling in pain by a neighbor the previous day.

Police say an examination by a veterinarian revealed that he had been shot in the head. The 9-year-old dog was euthanized the next day due to his injuries.

According to investigators, William Stroemel,64, has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, animal cruelty, certain persons not to have firearms, hindering apprehension/concealing evidence and unlawful possession of a weapon. 

Authorities say Stroemel was initially charged with weapons offenses following the discovery of a .22 caliber pistol during the execution of a search warrant at his residence on Sept. 23. Additional charges were added Wednesday after investigators say a necropsy was performed and the pellet removed from Toby’s head was connected to an air rifle in Stroemel’s possession at the time of the shooting. 

Via Amber Cook/GoFundMe

Police say Stroemel shot Toby with the air rifle and then gave the gun to an acquaintance and asked him to hold it for him. Toby was not believed to be on Stroemel’s property when he was shot, according to investigators.

Stroemel, who is also known as Wild Willie, is in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly awaiting a detention hearing.