A Florida man is telling a very different story than police about what happened when a Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy shot his dog.
On Saturday afternoon, Dan Rexrode said his two canines were sitting in the back of his truck when two cops pulled up to his home in Port Charlotte and one approached him to ask if he knew a woman they had an arrest warrant for.
Rexrode said that the other deputy trailed behind and “was walking up [the] driveway to the other deputy [before] he got up to the truck the dog was sitting in.”
Police claim that the officer was “forced” to shoot a 10-month-old puppy named Buford, because it became aggressive and attacked but that’s not what happened, according to Rexrode.
My dog noticed him and barked at him,” Rexrode said. “By the time he barked, me and the other deputy came around the truck. I screamed at my dog, and the cop looked at me and shot my dog.”
Rexrode maintained the dog did not attack the deputy, but if he felt threatened, the officer should have used mace or a taser instead to protect himself.
Buford was shot in the leg but is expected to make a full recovery. Rexrode said he has already had to spend $1,300 on vet bills.
Local news coverage:
In recent years, the killing of dogs by police has become a contentious issue resulting in the creation of the term “puppycide.” Advocates of ending “puppycide” point to the blaring double standard that exist between police and the rest of the population.
While police dogs are more or less considered human beings in terms of the rights they posses when harmed by suspects, ordinary pets of private citizens killed or harmed by police enjoy no such protections.
Animal rights activists and civil libertarians say the shootings are widespread and result from officers having little-to-no training on how to deal with canines.
In most cases, advocates say, officers simply react inappropriately to the playful nature of the animals, who are usually just running up to them to say hello or bite playfully at their heels.
Some analysts have claimed that a dog is shot by police in the U.S. every 98 minutes.