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Columbus Firefighter Under Investigation

The Columbus Division of Fire and the Capital Area Humane Society are looking into the shooting deaths of a north side firefighter's dogs. The firefighter said in an email to the fire chief he killed the dogs because they were suffering. A tip to the Humane Society said otherwise.

A tip to the Capital Area Humane Society led workers to two dead dogs in a dumpster at Fire Station 27 in North West Columbus. The Humane Society was told a fire fighter put the dogs in the dumpster. The dogs were retrieved and taken to Ohio State University for autopsy.

Battalion Chief Doug Smith said the firefighter wrote an e-mail to Fire Chief Ned Pettis and stated he killed the dogs because he thought they were suffering after possibly ingesting toxic chemicals.

Smith said other firefighters have said that's not what the 12-year-veteran told them.

"I did have a couple of firefighters state to me that he did make the comment that he was getting ready to go on a cruise and couldn't find a dog sitter and that's why he shot them," Smith said.

The fire department is investigating whether the e-mail the firefighter sent Chief Pettis was true and if any other crime was committed.

Smith said toxicology reports on the two dogs are pending. He said if the Humane Society files charges the fire department will likely suspend its investigation until that matter is resolved.

Smith said the firefighter is out of town on a cruise and will be back to work when he returns. Animal cruelty charges are misdemeanors in Ohio.

WOSU did not use the firefighter's name because no criminal charges have been filed.