The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy was responding to an animal complaint when the dog charged him. He shot and killed the dog, which the owners said was just lonely and suffering from separation anxiety.
An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy responding to an animal complaint Friday night shot and killed a dog in its driveway.
The Sheriff’s Office received a call from a neighbor around 8 p.m. about a dog that was barking and sounded injured, according to the OCSO incident report.
The deputy tried to contact the dog’s owners, since the lights were on at the home on Shrewsbury Road, and the dog did not initially approach him.
The dog was wearing a shock collar and it was raining at the time, the report said.
As the deputy approached the front door, the dog began to growl and snarl at him, according to his account of the incident. The deputy retreated to the driveway, and stood between two parked cars there.
As the dog charged him, the deputy fired two shots, striking the dog once in the neck, the report said. The dog then retreated to the back yard, where it died.
The dog was a Majestic treehound/bluetick mix.
A second deputy arrived and tried to contact the homeowners, but no one answered the door.
Deputies tried interviewing neighbors who witnessed the events, but they were "hostile" and did not wish to provide statements, the report said.
"Instead of providing statements, most of the neighbors just ridiculed and made vulgar comments toward law enforcement," the second deputy noted in the report.
The dog’s owners returned home while deputies were still talking to neighbors.
One of them said the dog had separation anxiety and that its shock collar connected to an underground fence that stretched to about halfway across the front yard.
Both of the owners "voiced their lack of appreciation for law enforcement," the report said.
They said their dog barked when he was lonely, but that they had gone out to eat and had only been gone for 30 minutes. At that point, deputies had already been at their address for 50 minutes, the report said.
The owners said they could not bury their dog.
An animal control officer from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society took the dog to the shelter for cremation.
The person who originally called for assistance called back to say the dog had not charged the deputy and it was not aggressive, the report said.
Another witness later told deputies that he saw the dog charge the deputy. He said the dog had been barking outside for more than an hour. It was raining at the time due to Tropical Storm Nestor.