Sheriff: Dog shooting was justified

Published 7:06 pm Monday, December 27, 2010

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis said it appears one of his deputies was justified in shooting and killing a dog on Dec. 23.

Davis said an investigation—which is mandatory whenever a deputy uses physical force—is ongoing but Officer David Moses said the dog posed an immediate threat to him after he was called to the scene about the animal killing a neighbor’s livestock.

“From what I know right now, it appears to me the deputy was justified in what he did,” Davis said.
The dog’s owner, Sandra Gray, could not be reached for comment, but Tom Cuthbert, owner of property leased by Gray, disputed the Sheriff’s Department account.

“He said the dog was not attacking anybody,” Cuthbert said about Moses. “I said, ‘Was it attacking any animals,’ and he said no.”

Cuthbert serves as vice president of the Chilton County Humane Society, and the dog, “Sassy,” was adopted from the shelter.

Cuthbert did not witness the shooting but arrived at the scene afterward and said he was told by Gray that her dog was not acting viciously.

Davis said his department received many complaints from neighbors about the dog, and deputies made several visits to the area, at the intersection of Highway 31 and County Road 24 in a community known as Cooper.

Moses shot the dog on his second visit on Dec. 23. According to Davis, Moses said he arrived at the area to find the dog attacking chickens belonging to a neighbor. Moses said he shouted at the dog in an attempt to stop the attack, but then the dog threateningly approached Moses.

“The deputy felt like he didn’t have any choice at that time,” Davis said.

Davis said his department’s internal investigation would include input from Gray and her neighbors.