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.