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Lexington police officer being investigated for shooting dog: Charges possible

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A Lexington, Kentucky police officer is in trouble after shooting a dog, Lexington Herald-Leader reported March 11.

Jeff Brangers, 39, who joined the Scott County Sheriff's Office in 2012, may be charged later this week with animal cruelty, pending results from an internal investigation.

Deputies with the department asked the Scott County Attorney's Officer to investigate the case, where Brangers shot and killed his neighbors black lab on March 9.

Brangers shot the dog as it was walking away from his property after Brangers had observed the dog crouched and staring at his chickens.

State law reads a livestock owner can exercise his rights, without liability, to kill any dog who is pursuing or injuring the livestock. The trouble in this case is the dog was leaving the property, and was no longer a danger to the chickens.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton stated

"When the dog's walking away, that changes that."

Brian Geary, owner of the murdered dog, will first have to file a complaint, which will then have to be signed by a judge. Once that happens, Brangers will be served a court summons for Scott District Court.

Geary has already stated his intent to press charges. In Kentucky, second degree animal cruelty is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

Geary also raises chickens on his property, and said in an interview March 10 that his dog had never showed an interest in chasing or harming chickens. Brangers spoke with Geary after the incident, where he told him

"I have a right as a property owner to protect my property from threats, and I perceived her as a threat. ... Your dog was on my property. I eliminated the threat."

This should be an interesting case to follow, as deputies with the department aren't standing behind one of their own on this matter. Perhaps good officer's are sick of the publicity that bad officer's bring to their respective departments.

Your comments are welcome.

For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.

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