An officer with the Simpsonville Police Department shot and killed a family dog May 26, Fox Carolina News reported May 27. Now a South Carolina teen is mourning the loss of his dog, shot by an officer.
On Sunday morning, the department received a call around 9 a.m. saying a large dog had lunged at a jogger. The dog, a rottweiler mix, was said to be roaming the Hudders Creek Way area, and residents were afraid of the dog.
A neighbor with a cane was able to rescue the woman and scare the dog away. More calls came in on Monday, saying the dog was loose again, and an officer was dispatched.
According to the officer, the dog began barking and growling as he approached the residence where the 911 call originated. The dog then charged the officer, who was able to grab his baton and defend himself against the attack.
The officer said the baton only made the dog more aggressive. Fearing for his safety, the officer then fired on the animal. That dog was Bella
Owner Blake Davenport of Simpsonville says his dog Bella didn't deserve being shot. Bella, was shot at four times, with three of the bullets hitting her. The difficult decision was made late Monday afternoon to humanely euthanized her, since Blake couldn't afford the enormous costs to remove the bullets.
Simpsonville Police Chief Keith Grounsell said the officer hand the right to defend himself. In an interview with Fox Carolina, Grounsell stated
"As police officers, we never want to shoot anything. In this case, this was the second time the dog lunged at someone on that street within a 24-hour period, and I'm glad that it was my officer who knew how to defend himself rather than a child."
Blake has built a memorial to Bella, who is buried in his back yard. Bella's death leaves a lot of unanswered questions for Blake. If the officer was going to shoot her, why not just one bullet to the head? Why so many rounds? Why would the officer fire a weapon in public with residents around?
This seems to be the norm for police who decide to shoot a family dog. Many times, children or neighbors are in the vicinity. In some cases, a bullet has gone astray, injuring any person unfortunate enough to be close by.
When will the killing end? Yesterday alone, I reported on four dogs shot by police cases. This year dog owners definitely had a Memorial Day to remember. And not in a good way.
For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.