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Injured dog shot by police, despite witnesses offer to seek emergency vet care

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UPDATED MARCH 3, 2013 18:04 Press release issued by Anderson City Police Captain Jim Stewart can be found here. Please consider both sides of the incident before forming an opinion. There are also several interesting comments made on this thread. While some praise the police for "putting the dog out of it's misery," others say the dog wasn't injured seriously enough to kill.

The police report also states no one would take responsibility for the dogs medical bills, which contradicts what witnesses stated.

Captain Stewart defended the actions of his officers stating

"Our officers acted according to current protocol in the face of a difficult situation."

Can anyone verify whether the dogs body was moved, since it's Monday and a city employee should be on duty?

An innocent, injured dog was allegedly shot to death Saturday evening by Anderson City Police Department officers.

The information for this article is based on a comment by Mary Harper, who witnessed the incident. Readers are asked to take a look at this report in it's entirety as it appeared on the Facebook: Anderson County P.A.W.S. page.

While trying to gather information, I contacted Anderson City Police Department, and have yet to get a response. I would very much like for them to leave a comment explaining why an injured dog was killed, when witnesses offered to seek emergency veterinary care.

This all began Saturday in front of a River Street home in the Anderson city limits. Mary and her family were eating dinner, when they heard a dog howl out in pain.

When the family rushed to see what had happened, they found a young black lab at the side of the road. This poor baby had been hit by a black Honda, who was driving well over the speed limit, another witness who stopped to help reported.

Mary called 911 while her husband and the other witness were keeping other people and traffic from causing further injury. A few minutes later a city officer arrived and looked at the wounded dog, who was still trying to move and in pain.

The officer returned to his patrol car and talked to someone, then returned with the news there was nothing left to do but to put the lab out of its pain by killing it.

Mary and the others asked about animal control, but this officer, as well as two other officers told them there was no animal control over the weekend, and no one at the shelter could help.

Mary's husband talked to the police, and asked if he could call Electric City Vet. The officer in charge allegedly told them "they were out here too long already." It had been less than 10 minutes since police arrived on scene.

Anderson City Police refused to call Anderson County P.A.W.S., who could have come out and humanely euthanized the dog. Instead, the dog was executed at the side of a busy road in a residential neighborhood. The dog was "put out of it's misery" by two bullets.

There are many more problems stemming from this innocent dog being shot. One of them is the comment supposedly made by officers that no one with P.A.W.S. was available because it was the weekend. A representative of the Anderson shelter commented on this Facebook post saying

"I work at PAWS and this is out of our control. If this is in the city you need to contact the Chief of Police, Jim Stewart. Please make sure you have everything documented and the badge numbers or last names of the officers. Also, non animal control officers for the city are able to contact management of PAWS to meet them at the shelter, assess the situation and severity, and make a decision based on experience not "being out too long".

"Anderson City does have one officer for animal control, who works Monday-Friday, but again officers other than herself are able and have taken animals to PAWS. Please contact the Anderson City Police Department!!"

Another issue that may come up is if the dog wasn't mortally wounded and could have survived, it's illegal for a person not trained and licensed by the state of South Carolina to humanely euthanize an animal. Two bullets isn't an accepted method of humane euthanasia.

Listed below are contact numbers for the department
Internal Affairs Complaint – 864-231-2288
Patrol Captain – 864-231-7615
Captain Stewart864-231-7615 or at jstewart@cityofandersonsc.com
Press/Media Information – 864-231-2288
https://www.facebook.com/CityOfAndersonPoliceDepartment

This isn't a case where a vet couldn't be found since it was the weekend. Magnolia is open 24/7. Those who witnessed this tragedy were also confident their private vets would have opened to treat an emergency.

This is a case where apparently police didn't want the hassle of dealing with an injured dog because it took up too much of their time.

I have no reason to doubt Mary's statement. My home town is Anderson, and I experienced their love of dogs in 2000. My experience was with the county. I called Anderson County Sheriff's Department after three children ran to me screaming a man had poured kerosene on a dog and was going to set the dog on fire.

County deputies were quick to respond, and refused to take a whiff of the dog. Then, because it was on the weekend, I was warned if I called them back to the residence, I'd be arrested for harassment.

I had hoped Anderson had changed since I moved out of the county. I'm sorry some things never change.

This article doesn't give permission to make threats against law enforcement. It does go to show that in many situations, dogs and police don't mix. Anytime police are called on an animal, there's an opportunity for police officer's to hone their shooting skills, because they'll later be cleared of any wrong-doing.

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