YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A woman testified Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court she saw a man accused of shooting and killing a dog pull up near her home in an out of the way portion of Mahoning County last year.

The witness, Donna Weimer, testified before Judge Anthony Donofrio that the man, later identified as George Panno, 29, take a dog from the car and walk into the woods.

She heard gunshots a few minutes later, then saw Panno walk out of the woods.

The dog was not with him.

Panno is on trial before Judge Donofrio on a fifth-degree felony charge of cruelty to animals. He is accused of taking his girlfriend’s dog into the woods of a remote area of North Jackson April 8 and killing it.

Opening statements took place today after a jury was seated Monday.

During opening statements, defense attorney Frank Cassese told jurors they will hear testimony that the dog, a pit bull mix named Diesel, was aggressive, especially toward children, and had a history of attacking people.

He said the sheriff’s office and Animal Charity, who investigated the case, never looked into those claims.

“That was never investigated,” Cassese said.

If the dog was mean, Weimer said it did not appear so before he was shot.

“He was just bouncing around like a happy little dog,” Weimer said.

In his opening statement, Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp told jurors they will hear claims that Diesel was aggressive, but he said that doesn’t matter because the law does not allow for someone to dispose of a dog they think is too mean by taking it to the woods and killing it.

“Diesel, a living, breathing creature, did not have to die in that manner,” Trapp said.