Police: Officer justified in shooting of injured dog - FOX Carolina 21

Police: Officer justified in shooting of injured dog; apologized for leaving body behind

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ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Police in Anderson are responding to recent controversy about the shooting of a dog who had been hit by a car.

In an incident report, police said an officer was called to the 1600 block of East River Road Saturday evening around 7, where witnesses said a dog who had been hit by a car had dragged itself into a nearby driveway.

Police said it appeared the dog's back legs, pelvis and ribs were broken and the dog was in severe pain.

The incident report said the officer asked witnesses if they would like to take the dog to an animal hospital, but the report said they declined.

"The most humane thing to do at the time was to put the dog down," said Chief Jim Stewart.

With two shots, the animal was dead. The dog had no known owner, police said.

The incident sparked controversy on social media and on the department's Facebook page. While police say the officer did follow correct use of force protocol, he left the dog's body behind after the incident, which was wrong.

""The animal was left there," said Stewart. "That was a mistake, and we apologize for that. The animal shouldn't have been left there, and we will move it next time."

Stewart also said there are no animal control officers on duty after hours or on weekends. The police department's patrol division handles that, he said.

One of the witnesses, Robert Harper, said he would like that to change.

"We'd like to see someone that you can contact for animal control when there's no one on duty for the weekend or after hours," said Harper.

There were also complaints from people on social media that a veterinarian should have been consulted before the animal was put down.

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