A Wise County, Virginia man is mourning the loss of his dog, shot and killed Saturday while the dog was protecting owner and property, News 5 reported August 25. The Virginia State Police is investigating.
Paul Carico thought of his pit bull De'Ja as a daughter, and is devastated at the loss of his child after Wise County Sheriff's Office deputies showed up at his Fuschia Road home with a warrant around 4 p.m. August 24 looking for someone Paul had never even heard of.
Officers had received a tip the wanted subject was at the home.
When Paul heard De'Ja barking Saturday afternoon, he opened his door to find several deputies waiting outside. They asked about a man Paul didn't know, then allegedly charged the front door. In an interview with WCYB, he said
"He came with a threatening approach up my steps, and the dog was not going to stand for that, she got by me."
De'Ja stepped between officers and her owner, and for that the family dog was rewarded with a bullet. Police refused to release the dashcam video, but News 5 was allowed to view what happened. The footage showed De'Ja running toward the officer, and Paul begging for her life.
"I'm crawling trying to get my dog. Before I could get out of the grass, he'd already fired and shot her."
After being shot, De'Ja was flailing her legs in the dirt. Paul carried her over to a four wheeler trailer, where she died. Now all he has left of his fur-daughter is a shell casing and a mound of dirt. He buried De'Ja a few feet from where she was murdered.
Virginia State Police First Sergeant Geoffrey Lewis is standing behind the deputy, saying he did what he needed to do to protect himself from a charging dog. Sgt. Lewis also stated Paul was asked several times to call off his dog.
What this tragedy boils down to is officers were at the wrong address, with no reason to be there. They trespassed and killed a dog who was on its own property when the dog saw a bunch of strange men trying to forcefully enter her home and perhaps harm her master.
Yet somehow the officers don't view this as wrong.
The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Wytheville Field Office is investigating the incident. The results will then be turned over to the Commonwealth's Attorney for review and final adjudication
Just how stupid do police officers believe the public is these days, where the same old excuse of officers being in fear of their lives are forced to use their gun as the first line of defense?
Really officers? Perhaps you need to find a less dangerous line of work. Surely there are mail carriers and package delivery employees who would be more mentally stable to handle a family pet without killing it.
Rest in peace De'Ja. You didn't deserve to die like this.
For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.