MS Police Officer Shoots Chained Dog Six Times

In Gulfport, MS, police were called to a subdivision to investigate a possible break-in.  During the course of the investigation, an officer went into the backyard of a neighbor’s home where she encountered the owner’s chained dog.  The owner, who was just coming outside to get his dog, says the officer was standing approximately 30 feet from the end of the dog’s chain when she put half a dozen bullets in the dog.

Samuel Lovato rushed his beloved pet – named Melmo – to the vet but the injuries were too extensive and euthanasia was performed in order to relieve Melmo’s suffering.  Mr. Lovato:

“I’ve had her for 11 years. Eleven years. She was a great dog, a good dog and she was just in her yard doing her job and just being a dog.”

Police will investigate themselves, as usual:

Police are looking into the incident, according to Lt. Craig Petersen with the Gulfport Police Department.

“First, we need to conduct our internal investigation,” Lt. Petersen said.  “I feel really bad for the gentleman and the loss of his dog, but we’ll conduct the internal investigation.”

He also said that officers have to make life and death decisions in an instant, including assessing threats from animals.

“The officer has discretion in how to protect themselves in these situations, totally up to the officer based on the facts and circumstances of that particular case.”

Sound like they’ve already got the “Justified Killing” stamp all inked up?  But wait, there’s more:

There is no timetable for when the investigation will be completed.  The officer involved in the shooting remains on active duty.

So I guess it’s ‘Gulfport dog owners, hide your dogs’?  Maybe while you’re at it, hide your kids too.  I hate to think of a kid being in a yard with a dog where half a dozen bullets are flying.

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35 Comments

  1. Morgana

     /  March 23, 2011

    Kick that ****sucking bastard off the force. He deserves what he meeted out to Melmo. WTF?????

    Reply
  2. Donna Lake

     /  March 23, 2011

    This just blows my mind. Why would you need to investigate some idiot shooting a dog on a CHAIN,As I was reading the story it clearly states CHAINED.

    Reply
  3. db

     /  March 23, 2011

    That police officer needs to be investigated completely. Something doesn’t smell right here and if she gets off, it will be another tragedy.
    How many of these nut jobs are there out there?

    The article also said that the officer continued shooting as the dog tried to run away from her. This lady has no business handling a weapon or being around animals.

    My sympathy to the owner of this poor dog who just happened to be in his own backyard at the wrong time.

    Reply
  4. dru

     /  March 23, 2011

    “Justified Killing”!!!!! how in the EFF can there b a case of “Justified Killing” here???? the dog was on a chain AND 30 feet away!!!!! my condolences 2 Samuel on the loss of his pet~whom he had for ELEVEN years. Samuel, i pray u fight this….this “officer” needs 2 b looked into…she’s NOT cop material!!!! PLUS it took 6 bullets 2 shoot a CHAINED dog??????

    Reply
    • Leslie

       /  March 24, 2011

      Thats exactly right! No chained dog deserves to be shot! No dog for that matter. This officer could not have possible been in any danger, for God’s sake the dog was 30 feet away and on a chain! What harm could the dog have done to them? NONE! This officer should be discharged immediately and be investigated! Maybe they just dislike dogs and are using their position to take charge of that and get rid of dogs, and maybe they dislike kids too when will they shoot a kid? You never know with someone like this. Its time to let the state police go in and investigate not the locals. The locals always side with their own. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING justified about this!

      Reply
  5. People with so completely lacking in good judgment, common sense and compassion have no business packing heat. And the only uniforms they should be wearing have the logos of fast food restaurants on them.

    Reply
  6. Evelyn

     /  March 23, 2011

    Another “sanctioned” murder/tragedy – brings me to tears at the unfairness of it.

    It does sound like there’s something fishy – CHAINED dog, in it’s own backyard gets shot SIX times???? WTF??? How sad for the dog and the owner.

    Reply
  7. mikken

     /  March 23, 2011

    Bet you money that everyone on the force knows this cop has problems, but they’ll cover for her anyway. It’s only a matter of time before she snaps and kills a human.

    Reply
  8. Morgana

     /  March 23, 2011

    She’s already killed an innocent life – MELMO. Why does it always have to wait until a human life is taken my someone who has lost their marbles? Can we find out who the MAyor or Supervisor of this county/city is?

    Reply
  9. Anne

     /  March 23, 2011

    once again
    *vomit*

    Reply
  10. Jack Carone

     /  March 23, 2011

    Forget the police investigation,. SUE, SUE, SUE.

    Reply
  11. If that’s how police officers use their best judgement, our cities are a lot more dangerous than we think. What’s next, are they going to start shooting babies if they give ‘em the stink eye? ACCOUNTABILITY!

    Reply
  12. Morgana

     /  March 23, 2011

    Nah, first they’ll shoot Seniors in wheel chairs who point their canes at the cops – never know, those things could go off!

    Reply
  13. Erica

     /  March 23, 2011

    So the f-ing officers get to make life and death decisions in a moment at the risk of killing someone’s pet…again. Chained…fenced in yard…break-in next door…holy craphole Batman!!!

    And – something on a side note – ALSO IN MISSISSIPPI – in Ripley a child was hit by bullet fragments when officers shot a dog – http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=14293727

    Will the insanity EVER end?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Reply
  14. Carol

     /  March 23, 2011

    GAD!!! WHAT kind of training did that officer have??? To decide that a CHAINED up dog is a menace?? AND – what a LOUSY SHOT!!! 6 bullets???
    Glad I don’t live in THAT town. No one’s safe.

    The police can’t asses a real danger – they can’t shoot straight – what a bunch of losers!!!!

    TOTAL BULL!!!!

    Reply
  15. Morgana

     /  March 23, 2011

    Craaaazy freakin’ world, man.

    Reply
  16. Can you say “Trigger Finger”? Man…just reading this makes me break down in distress…I can’t imagine being that human companion…..I think they would have to shoot me too at that point to put me out of my misery because I would be useless after that.

    Reply
    • Morgana

       /  March 24, 2011

      Same here – I think I would have attacked that officer myself.

      Reply
  17. I don’t trust any person that carries a gun and I am scared of police — I think the power messes with their brains.

    Reply
  18. JW

     /  March 24, 2011

    Reading all the posts on her makes me think that there are some real narrow minded people out there. Before you shoot off your mouth about this don’t you think you should ask a few questions?

    Q. What kind of dog was this? (I’m sure you’re all picturing a beagle minding his own business. This could have been a 100lbs foaming at the mouth monster.)

    Q. How big was this yard, how long was this “chain” that they refer to, and was the dog in attack mode?

    Q. What would you do?

    This officer put 6 bullets in a dog and it lived. It was rushed to a vet and had to be put down. Before you pass judgment on the officer I think you may need the whole story and not some slanted spin a writer hs put in article.

    (PS I have no idea what happened… Maybe this chick is nuts and unloaded half a clip in Snoopy… Just want people to think before they spout out nonsense)

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  March 24, 2011

      To answer your questions, JW -

      1) It was a good-sized dog – Rottie mix. Irrelevant.

      2) Size of the yard – irrelevant. The officer stood 20-30 feet away from the dog when she drew her weapon (reports vary on the distance).

      3) A lunging, barking dog on a chain in a potentially volatile situation? Back away slowly and go in the other direction. If *I* find the dog that threatening, surely the perp I’m chasing did too and did NOT go this way. I have no reason to keep moving in this direction and no need to confront the dog.

      I don’t know how it would be possible to defend the officer’s actions in this matter. The break in was next door to this house, she went into a neighbor’s yard, saw a dog tied in the yard and shot it six times in front of the owner.

      This officer clearly has issues that should preclude her from carrying a weapon in the future.

      Reply
      • Thank you Mikken. I would add that if the officer really felt she needed to thoroughly investigate the yard and that the dog was a threat, she could have simply asked the owner to put the dog in the house.

      • Morgana

         /  March 24, 2011

        Thank you Mikken. As for JW – you a cop or something? Afraid of chained dogs? A freshman of doggie behaviour? And DON’T assume what the rest of us here are thinking, I hardly thought “cute little beagle”, since beagles very rarely if ever lunge at the end of a chain anyway. The breed, and all the points you bring up in defence of a defenceless act are ridiculous as Mikken has already pointed out very ably. If I were in that cop’s shoes, I would back away, continue my search for the perp elsewhere, or as Shirley says, ask the homeowner to bring his dog in. If I really felt the dog could be dangerous, I would give the homeowner a warning. AND BTW, this stupid ass cop was trespassing.

      • dru

         /  March 24, 2011

        VERY nicely put, mikken……

    • Erica

       /  March 24, 2011

      While Mikken answered those questions REALLY well I just wanted to point out that when I read a blog post I also click on those links in it to read the stories associated with the blog entry. Most people with half a brain do the same. The newpaper article was VERY clear that Melmo was a rottie over 100 pounds…that the officer was a good 30 feet away from the dog WHICH WAS CHAINED….the break in had happened at a neighbors house….and ANY cop with half a brain would ask the owner to take the dog in – especially when he’s WALKING OUT HIS FRONT DOOR to get the dog in the first place and unless she has absolutely NO peripheral vision she would have known this. IF it were me I would’ve known that looking at that dog that there is NO WAY a perp would’ve gone near it and continued my search in another direction OR if I were missing half my brain I’d knock on the door and ask that the owner remove the dog so I could do my search. The size and breed of the dog, the size of chain and whatever “mode” the dog was in would all be irrelevant.

      Reply
  19. I just find it so sad that the dog was shot SIX times and still lived (suffered) long enough to get to a vet to be euthanized. What is wrong with our world? Did they stop looking for the burglar? Or did they just leave the owner to deal with his own wounded dog? Don’t you have to file paperwork and reports when you discharge a weapon?
    Glad I live in Alaska where EVERYBODY has a gun but we seem to understand when and where to use them appropriately. (p.s. I don’t have a gun and I don’t feel the need to have one either.)

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  March 24, 2011

      With the way things are going in this world you might want to get a weapon to protect yourself and your dogs FROM the cops…the insanity could spread to Alaska…..

      Reply
      • IMO Guns HELP insanity rather than cure it…I’m already crazy, I’ll stick to my guns about not owning guns! (Although my hubby has a couple of them, and he did teach me how to load and shoot the pistol many years ago.)
        Most any time I’ve needed or wanted someone with a gun around, it wasn’t hard to find somebody I trusted to fill the need.

      • Morgana

         /  March 25, 2011

        @LynnO: I have often thought about getting a gun and learning how to use it. BUT, my heart being a pacifist, and the anger that I have not been able to shed about these kinds of abuses to animals, suggests the world would be better if I DID NOT get a gun – lol…and so it is to this day. Thanks for jogging that thought!

      • Erica

         /  March 25, 2011

        I certainly understand….I have “graduated” to pellet guns, and am thinking paintball guns would be fun. BUT the fiance refuses to let me have one because I want to shoot the cars that drive by with their radios up TOO loud at all hours! lol Other than that I would rather NOT mess with one of those ‘real’ guns with bullets and all…

        Besides, sad as it is because they are all big babies, but I don’t have to worry about too many people messing with us because of the pits. Our poor neighbors think of us as the house with lots of kids and pits…if they only knew of the 5 kitties the lurked within as well! LOL

  20. Jean

     /  March 25, 2011

    The writer made the point at the end I always make: how utterly irresponsible for an officer to discharge a weapon with no regard for what may be happening around them. For instance, what if a child flew out the door to save her dog after the first shot was fired? If the officer was so fearful she had to immediately start firing, is she such a Charles Bronson/Clint Eastwood/James Bond dead-eye shot that she could swing her weapon up and fire rapidly, six shots in succession, every one hitting their mark, with no possibility of richochet or fragments flying? Really? I don’t think so. She panicked and put everybody at risk. So, defend her if you must, but you know it’s true. She has no business carrying a weapon – she needs to be writing parking tickets if she wants to stay on the force. Period.

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  March 25, 2011

      I am appluading – you just can’t hear it! lol But to add to your point, while reading about this story I found a link to another story where a child WAS hit by a bullet fragment from a polic eofficer who DID shoot a dog…so everything you said is OH SO true!

      Reply
  21. Morgana

     /  March 25, 2011

    Jean – well done!

    Reply
  22. Bo

     /  March 25, 2011

    The dog was helping the police officer. If there was a perpetrator running from the scene it was unlikely to travel through the yard with the dog. Killing the dog added uncertainty and possibly ruined evidence with the cop’s own bullets. This should be pressed and the force should explain how this is warranted. What does this say to responsible dog owners with fences and chains?

    This is a rotten cop who always wanted to shoot something. Ask the force to argue otherwise.

    Reply
  23. zombeeewolf

     /  June 3, 2012

    This will continue to happen (and it did again in Jan. in Gulfport with another dog on a chain then they sited the owner for abuse at having dog on a chain) again and again so long as it is standard operating procedure for police to be able to just shoot dogs when they feel threatened–they will always side with the officer unless there is film like in the OK case that prove the officer was in the wrong.

    Unless the public demands a change–shooting dogs by the police will continue.

    Reply

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