Officer was wrong to shoot dog

Published 5:30 pm Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear Editor,

On Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, at about 5 p.m., an officer of the Chilton County Sherriff’s Department shot and killed a family pet in front of two teenage girls.

The first shot caused blood to come gushing out of his mouth as he struggled to get away. It took two more shots to murder this dog.

Witnesses said the officer fired six shots, all in a subdivision full of houses in Cooper.

When I arrived on the scene, the dog was already dead, and officer David Moses said he shot the dog. When told that the family had made arrangements to surrender Sassy to the Chilton County Humane Society in the morning, he said that he already knew that.

When asked why he shot this dog at this particular time, I was told by officer Moses that this was the second time he had been called out that afternoon and he could not keep coming out all night.
Five days earlier, this dog mauled a neighbor’s dog that was also running free. The many complaints all came from this neighbor or her friends and relatives.

This was a civil matter over the other dog’s vet bill. Sassy and her owners broke no laws.

The officer led me to believe that he was following the department’s polices; I want to know if this is true. Sheriff Kevin Davis, I am asking if every family pet that gets away from a teenage girl in this county will be shot on sight. Was this officer following department policy as he led me to believe, or is he a rogue that needs to be facing the law he flaunted from his sheriff’s car?

I would also like to know this officer’s relationship to the complaining neighbor. I would like a public discussion on this and not have it swept under the rug.

Tom Cuthbert, Vice president of Chilton County Humane Society and owner of property leased by the family whose dog was killed.