A man who admitted shooting three of his dogs and dumping them along a local road was acquitted of animal cruelty charges but convicted of scattering rubbish.

Arnold Eugene Wheeler, 42, confessed when confronted by police to shooting the dogs in the head on Dec. 6, 2006. He said he shot the animals because he no longer could care for them, couldn't find anyone to take them and couldn't afford veterinary euthanasia.

The Monroe County jury deliberated for about an hour before acquitting Wheeler on cruelty charges Tuesday. He was convicted of scattering rubbish for dumping the dogs' bodies off a Ross Township road.

For the dumping conviction, Wheeler was ordered to pay a $200 fine and sentenced to 30 days in jail, which he will start serving Feb. 8.

The dogs, a male and two females, were blond shepherd mixed breeds. According to testimony, Wheeler used a .22-caliber rifle to kill the dogs, two of which were shot multiple times in the head because they did not die immediately.