Dr. Joseph Stubbers, of West Harrison, Ind., has owned Fairfield Primary Care on Mack Road since 1993. He’s accused of felony cruelty to animal charge in his Dearborn County, Ind. PROVIDED

Patient shocked by accusations that Fairfield doctor hit dog with hammer, shot it

“I can’t say a negative word about him,” said Sharon Franklin, a former West Chester Twp. resident and patient of Dr. Joseph Stubbers for nearly a decade, from her Florence, Ky. home. “I can’t fathom that he did this.”

INITIAL REPORT: Fairfield doctor accused of hitting dog with hammer, shooting it

Stubbers, who owns the Fairfield Primary Care on Mack Road, was arrested and charged Saturday with cruelty to animals after he allegedly struck his 5-year-old English Mastiff with a hammer and then shot it once, according to court documents filed by the Dearborn County Prosecutor.

Dr. Joseph Stubbers, who's charged with cruelty to an animal in Indiana, is the owner of Fairfield Primary Care on Mack Road. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
Photo: Michael D. Pitman

The charge, cruelty to an animal (torture), is a level 6 felony, the lowest felony level under Indiana criminal law, and is punishable up to 2 1/2 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Stubbers is out on a $1,000 cash bond, according to court records, and has not yet retained an attorney.

Stubbers told a sheriff’s deputy he did not beat the dog, “but he had to put it down” because it attacked him, according to court documents. Stubbers did not have any marks on his arm, according to the deputy’s affidavit.

The deputy also told Stubbers the dog was still alive and on his front porch. A blood trail led deputies to the dog bleeding from a “mutilated right eye,” according to documents.

The dog is being treated by an area veterinarian, according to our news partner WCPO-TV.

A neighbor said Stubbers was cleaning a garage with bleach after he allegedly struck and shot the dog, according to court documents. Stubbers allegedly told that neighbor he was cleaning the garage floor with bleach because his dog defecated on the floor, according to court documents. Another neighbor told investigators he first heard a gunshot and then saw Stubbers fire a handgun at his dog.

A running water hose was found on the ground, and a bottle of bleach sat on top of a trash can. Two .40 caliber casings were found, and one round was recovered with hair it.

Stubbers has been allowed to practice medicine in Ohio since August 1990, and his license was last renewed in December 2017. It’s set to expire on Jan. 1, 2020.

He opened Fairfield Primary Care in 1993.

Ohio Medical Board spokeswoman Tess Pollock said per state law she can’t say if a complaint has been levied against Stubbers, or if there’s an active investigation.

However, the board could take action against a licensee “from anything from a warning letter to probation to a permanent radication of their license,” she said. And while the office would investigate acts involving their practice of medicine, the Ohio Medical Board could also investigate acts involving moral turpitude, she said.

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