Cops Shot at Retreating Arthritic Dog Toward House Filled with Children: Business as Usual


More in contemporary policing practice keeping you and yours safe and sound, out of Mason County, West Virginia, reported in the Charleston Daily Mail:

It starts with a bunch of police cars chasing a suspect in a car down a not-much-traveled rural road. A family dog goes to investigate when eight police officers and their dog in tactical gear emerge from the woods near the Sweat family home. 


[Ginger Sweat's] 6-year-old Basset hound/beagle mix, Willy Pete, left the porch and made his way toward the troopers. The dog, she said, suffered from arthritis in his back legs and was not aggressive…

Sweat said she was still inside when she saw the trooper raise a weapon at her dog.

"I ran out my door, jumping up and down screaming 'don't shoot my dog, he won't bite, just let me get him in the house,'" she said.

She said the officer fired one shot toward the dog but missed. She said Willy Pete turned tail and was running back toward her.

"He ran towards me with desperation in his eyes," she said. "They fired again in my direction. In the direction of my home where my kids were."

She said three more shots were fired, a total of four shots. Willy Pete, she said, was hit three times. The dog went to the back of the mobile home. Sweat said she found the dog near the air conditioning unit.

"I watched my dog struggle and then die," she said. "I collapsed in a puddle in the floor, screaming and crying."

The police would rather not talk about this, and would you all just calm the hell down, huh? We only shot a dog, for crying out loud!

Lt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman, said troopers sometimes will inform the public in similar situations with a media burst or by going door to door, but that it was his understanding there was no time for that in Tuesday's case.

Baylous said officers still are searching for [Jonathan] Jeffers [the suspect they were pursuing]. He declined comment on the shooting of the dog.

"It's counterproductive and it's only serving to fan the tension," Baylous said. "We have had several people responding to us in a very irrational way and we feel that it's counterproductive to comment further."

Hat tip: reader Matthew Thomas

Reason on cops shooting dogs.