An off-duty Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a border collie mix at North Carolina’s Catawba Falls says he did so to protect his children from what appeared to be an aggressive dog.
“You’re damn right I shot your dog,” he reportedly told the dog’s owner, Scott Shulman of Durham.
Shulman, who was hiking with his son, said his three dogs got ahead of them when he fell into the water.
By the time he caught up, he saw Deputy Jason Honeycutt pointing a gun at one of his dogs, a 45-pound border collie mix named Nellie, who he says was barking and wagging her tail.
“I hear two or three pops, and I see Nellie roll over and hit the ground,” Shulman said. “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I just said, ‘Did you shoot my dog?’ He said something like, ‘you’re damn right I shot your dog.’”
Shulman told the Asheville Citizen-Times that his dog was not posing a threat to the officer or his children, and that he thought shooting the dog was “disproportionate and excessive.”
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the case, and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal probe, but no charges or disciplinary action were recommended against the deputy.
“We don’t have any issue with what our officer did,” said Lt. Randy Sorrells of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department. “He was protecting his children.”
A McDowell County incident report that lists Deputy Honeycutt as the victim states the dog appeared to be aggressive toward children.
Shulman disagrees, and says two witnesses to the shooting also believe Nellie, while barking, wasn’t behaving aggressively otherwise.
“My main concern is making the citizens aware that this incident occurred … I don’t want anybody else to have to experience something like this.”
(Photo: Asheville Citizen-Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, barking, border collie, buncombe county, catawba falls, children, deputy, disproportionate, dog, dogs, durham, excessive, hiking, jason honeycutt, kills, mcdowell county, mix, mountains, nellie, north carolina, off duty, pets, protecting, scott shulman, sheriff, shoots, tail, wagging
The dog was shot when deputies responding to a burglary call went to the wrong address.
Deputy Wilfred Europe III has been reassigned to administrative duties, according to the Denver Post.
CBS 4 in Denver reported last week that it was the second time Europe had shot a dog during his five years with the sheriff’s office. The first shooting wasn’t fatal.
In a news conference Friday, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said the case is still under investigation, but that certain details “need to be set straight.”
According to Darr, two deputies were dispatched to a burglar alarm call Monday at Thoutt Bros. Concrete at 5384 Tennyson St. The address of the business wasn’t clearly marked and, upon seeing an open door at 5460 Tennyson Street they approached it.
When the occupant of the building opened the door, Ziggy, his 8-year-old blue heeler/border collie mix, ran outside.
Darr said Ziggy was “barking and growling” and that the deputy retreated about 25 feet before kicking him. Ziggy continued toward the deputy, who fired two shots, one of which hit and killed the dog.
Jeff Fisher, the dog’s owner, says the officers told him to calm down when he reacted to the dog’s shooting, and that he could “get another dog.” Darr confirmed the deputy made those comments.
Fisher is being represented by an attorney from the Animal Law Center, Jay Swearingen, who says the sheriff’s account differs from that of Fisher. Fisher says Ziggy was running away from the deputy, not charging toward him, when he was shot, and that three shots were fired.
Fisher said he asked the officers after Ziggy was shot why they couldn’t have used a taser, and was told “It is what it is.”
Many citizens have expressed outrage over the shooting — much of it on the sheriff department’s own Facebook page:
“We’re really pleased that the public is concerned,” Swearingen said. “Our client can’t get his dog back, but what happened with Ziggy can … prevent this from occurring again to another family with their dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adams county, alarm, animals, burglary, colorado, deputies, deputy, dogs, doug darr, get another one, it is what it is, jeff fisher, killed, law enforcement, pets, police, reassigned, reassignment, sheriff, shootings, shot, Wilfred Europe, wrong address, ziggy
A Florida sheriff’s deputy plans to adopt the dog he helped rescue after her owner slashed her throat and stabbed her.
The dog, a 70-pound collie-Labrador mix named Amber, was attacked Sunday night, according to the Jacksonville Times-Union.
St. Johns County Deputy Dan Sorrells arrested her owner and then joined an animal control officer in a search for the dog, following a trail of blood and finding her in a thicket of grass, with her throat slashed and stab wounds to her sides.
When he called her name, she came, he said. “She walked right over to me. She showed no aggression.”
Amber was taken to Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Jacksonville. Sorrells plans to pay Amber’s medical and take her home in about a week.
He told deputies the dog needed to be “put down” because she attacked a kitten.
According to Hart’s two roomates, who reported the incident, he became angry when he thought the dog had harmed the cat.
“He called the dog over to him and stabbed it several times,” they told Sorrells. “Then he cut its throat.”
One of the roommates said he tried to help the wounded dog, but that Hart told him to ”back off.”
The kitten, as it turned out, was not harmed.
Amber is believed to be about 4 years old. Sorrells visited her Tuesday and Wednesday. His family has two other rescue dogs.
“This dog will fit in perfectly with them,” he said.
(Top photo: Amber, far left, visits the vet with Sorrells, far right; by Bruce Lipsky / The Times-Union)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopting, adoption, amber, angry, animal cruelty, animals, attack, cat, county, cruelty to animals, dan sorrells, deputy, dogs, florida, law enforcement, owner, pets, sheriff, slashed, st. johns county, stabbed, throat
Rocky, a K-9 with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department in New York, died Sunday night after falling from a five-story building while pursuing a burglary suspect.
The 2 1/2-year-old German shepherd attempted to leap over a 3-foot retaining wall and fell 60 feet into the parking lot.
Rocky, a tracking and narcotics dog, graduated at the top of his class in the spring of 2009 and often assisted other police agencies, the Buffalo News reported.
Recently, he uncovered key evidence in a murder investigation at the Walmart store in Orleans County, and this past summer, he helped track a murder suspect in Albion. When he wasn’t chasing bad guys, Rocky visited children at the Niagara County Fair and through the DARE program.
Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John R. Chella said police got a call from residents who thought they heard someone inside the vacant building. His department requested two K-9s from the sheriff’s office to help in the search.
Following the search, Marcus A. Johnson, 24, of Fillmore Avenue, Buffalo, was arrested by the Niagara Falls Police Department. Police said he was trying to steal copper wiring from a vacant building.
Rocky worked with his handler, Deputy Craig Beiter, whose previous K-9, Zeus, was also injured in a fall. Zeus was tracking burglary suspects at Lockport’s Old City Hall in 2007 when he fell 30 feet down an old shaft leading to the original Erie Canal Locks. He worked three more years, retiring in 2010.
Rocky was buried by Beiter at a private location, the sheriff’s department said, but a memorial service is being planned.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: burglary, craig beiter, crime, deputy, fall, fell, k9, killed, line of duty, narcotics, niagara county, niagara falls, police department, police dog, pursuit, rocky, rooftop, sheriff's department, suspect, tracking, zeus
A sheriff’s deputy in Ohio County, Kentucky, was fired yesterday after allegedly beating an injured dog with a garden hoe — apparently in an attempt to put her out of her misery.
The dog, thought dead, was then buried, only to resurface a few days later — alive.
Ohio County Sheriff David Thompson informed Deputy Randy Taylor of his termination shortly before a news conference Tuesday morning, according to this report from WEHT
Thompson — despite reports that quote Taylor as saying he beat the dog because it “wasn’t worth the bullet” — said he didn’t think Taylor’s intention were cruel.
“Obviously Mr. Taylor is very disappointed,” said Thompson. “He’s very sorry about the situation. His intent, which I believe, probably was never to punish the animal or be cruel to the animal as such.”
Deputy Taylor had been suspended with pay over the June 28th incident, in which sources say a state transportation worker noticed an injured dog, apparently struck by a car, and called for a deputy.
When Taylor arrived, he allegedly began beating the dog with a garden hoe. The dog was then reportedly taken back to the garage and buried under a mound of dirt.
Several days later, the dog was discovered to still be alive. A transportation worker has also been fired in connection with the incident.
Sheriff Thompson said that Muhlenberg County Attorney Darris Russell is being brought in as a special prosecutor to review the case due to a conflict of interest in Ohio County.
While most news reports don’t mention whether the dog is still alive, a Facebook post indicates she is, and that she has been named Chance.
“I was fortunate to see ‘Chance’ today and I was truly shocked. Although they said she looked a hundred percent better, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I bent down to be close to her and she took a minute to find me. I believe her sight is gone in one eye and it looks like she might have trouble getting in focus. As soon as I got close, she gave me a kiss.
“Her little body is beaten, but her spirit not broken. She is very underweight and has multiple large dents on the top of her head where she was hit. They got her up for me to see and she cried very badly for a few seconds. She is really sore after all this (as to be expected).
“As I was there, the vet showed me something that I could not believe. She has a bullet lodged in her hip where she has been shot in the past. This is not made up and if I hadn’t seen it, well, let’s just say she gets more beautiful by the moment. As soon as she is out of danger of being exploited, I will post a picture for all to see. I for one, appreciate the overwhelming care that you all have shown for this helpless, wonderful dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, alive, beat, beaten, buried, car, chance, cruelty, david thompson, deputy, dog, facebook, fired, garden hoe, hoe, injured, kentucky, misery, news conference, not worth a bullet, ohio county, randy taylor, resurface, sheriff, struck, survived, survives, suspended, video
In Houston and Philadelphia, sad stories emerged at the end of the last week of humans who, while trying to save the lives of their dogs, lost their own.
In Philadelphia, a woman was struck and killed Friday night as she ran onto a set of railroad tracks to save her dog from an oncoming commuter train, police said.
The woman, who police described as in her 40s and from out-of-state, was standing on the platform of the Bryn Mawr station about 6 p.m. when her dog got loose and bounded onto the rails, according to Lower Merion Township police.
The woman was waiting for a train when her dog got loose. She chased the black Chihuahua onto the tracks as an eastbound SEPTAtrain pulled into the station. She was killed instantly, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The dog was recovered without injuries and taken to an animal hospital.
The 51-year-old officer had pulled up to his home in his patrol unit and was told by neighbors his dogs were running loose near an industrial canal.
Wotipka saw his English bulldog go into the canal and plunged in after her. He resurfaced once then went under again. Wotipka’s body was recovered the next morning about 150 feet from where he entered the canal, the Houston Chronicle reported. The dog also died.
Wotipka joined the department in 1993 and was known as a lover of dogs. While in his patrol cruiser a week ago, he slammed on his brakes to avoid a stray dog in the middle of the road, then ended up bringing the dog, who he named Skidmark, home.
The police officers’ union is planning a fundraiser for the Wotipka family on July 31.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bryn mawr, canal, chihuahua, dead deaths, deputy, die, dog, drowned, drowning, eddie wotipka, english bulldog, harris county, houston, killed, news, officer, ohmidog!, owners, pets, philadelphia, rescue, rescuing, save, saving, septa, sheriff's, train
A sheriff’s deputy arrested on a DUI charge in Tennessee was thrown into a “K-9 cage” by state troopers who said it was for his own protection.
Samuel Monroe Bledsoe, 47, who has been terminated from his job as a deputy with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly tried to slam a squad car door on a trooper, kicked the inside of a squad car and was vomiting on himself, according to the Kingsport Times-News.
He was placed in a “K-9 cage” to prevent injury to himself or state property, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer’s arrest report and a court affidavit.
Troopers said Bledsoe was found asleep in the front passenger seat of his wife’s car, and was unable to perform a sobriety test as instructed, even though it was explained to him 18 times. He was arrested and placed in the back seat of an officer’s cruiser.
On the way to Bristol Regional Medical Center for a blood test, the officer had to pull over twice because Bledsoe was kicking the cage and the door of the cruiser, police said. After the second stop, officers got approval to transfer Bledsoe to the back of the patrol unit, which was equipped to house a police dog.
“Due to the K-9 cage being smaller,” they said, he was less likely to injure himself there.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arrest, cage, deputy, drunk driving, dui, fired, K-9, k9, kicked, police, samuel bledsoe, sheriff's, state, sullivan county, tennessee, terminated, trooper, vomit
A sheriff’s deputy in south Texas caught a mysterious creature on videotape over the weekend, and the footage is heating up the chupacabra debate once again.
Is it a dog? A coyote? Or the legendary bloodsucking beast that has been rumored to have attacked livestock and pets in the southwest since the 1990s?
“You need to record something like this because it’s not everyday you find something that looks like this, running around out in the middle of the county,” said Cpl. Brandon Riedel, who pursued the animal in his car but later lost him.
The short-legged, hairless animal had a long snout that looked like a coyote, Riedel said. But he admitted he wasn’t convinced.
“You know, it’s just kind of one of those things to hear about and talk about, but to actually see something on video that may actually be a live one, that’s pretty amazing,” DeWitt County Sheriff Jode Zavesky said.
Friday’s sighting is just the latest “sighting” of the mythical animal. Last year, a rancher found a dead animal near the town of Cuero that was thought by some to be a chupacabra. Biologists at Texas State University-San Marcos tested DNA taken from the remains of the animal and found it to be a coyote.
“It’s like every good urban legend,” Texas filmmaker Erik McCowan said. “Maybe it’s better to just think it is the chupacabra.”