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"It's an awful owner:" Lehigh Acres man accused of shooting a dog in the face

Lee County investigators say the dog was found inside the house, with blood gushing from his neck and face, while hiding behind a couch.
The suspect accused of shooting a dog in the face is now facing an aggravated animal cruelty charge.
Posted at 3:12 PM, Apr 23, 2024

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — The Lee County Sheriff's Office says a man shot a dog in the face on Monday night in Lehigh Acres.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Sheriff Carmine Marceno says 41-year-old Farhad Deihim has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Marceno says deputies were called to a Lehigh Acres home on 13th Street in reference to a disturbance involving a firearm.

A preliminary investigation, according to the sheriff, says the suspect threatened to shoot everyone inside the home, including two children. This was following the discovery of Deihim's infidelity, Marceno said.

"Shortly after talking and interviewing our witnesses and people that are in the house and there's a video that is discovered," Marceno said. "These screams of pain continued even after the video cuts out."

That video showed Deihim shooting the family dog, Louie, in the face.

"She [fiance] found out that he [Deihim] was cheating on her, so he was so upset that he shot the dog because of it," Marceno said. "Just an innocent, loving dog."

Investigators say the dog was found inside the house, with blood gushing from his neck and face, while hiding behind a couch.

Marceno says the dog, a young pitbull mix, showed "zero aggression".

"It seems to me (that) it's not a pitbull issue. It's an awful owner issue," Marceno told reporters during the press conference.

Louie later made an appearance following Marceno's announcement of the arrest.

Veterinarians say Louie will make a full recovery, but will need time to heal.

He is in the care of Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

When Fox 4 Senior Reporter Kaitlin Knapp asked what can prevent these types of incidents from happening in the first place, Marceno said:

"What I want to do is create that registry for the entire state, work to pass law that when someone is convicted of abusing an animal, it's a state-wide statewide documentation," he explained.

In Lee County, if someone is convicted of animal abuse, they are placed on a countywide animal abuse registry. In addition, they cannot own an animal for five years.