Winters PD: City worker caught on video shooting dog acted in ‘normal course of his duties’

Texas

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WINTERS, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Winters Police Department (WPD) says an animal control officer was acting in “the normal course of his duties” when he was caught on video shooting a dog Tuesday morning.

In a video that’s created quite a stir online, two men, one of whom is an animal control officer, are seen standing near a dog that is enclosed inside a fence. The woman recording the video begins to confront the men, accusing them of letting the dog suffer after it’s already been shot once. The men respond to the woman recording the video as the dog seemingly tries to stand, then one walks over to the corner of the fence and shoots and kills the dog.

After investigation, Winters police say the animal control officer responded to a call about the dog, who had been “an ongoing safety concern” for the residence.

“Multiple issues had taken place prior, at the residence, regarding the dog getting into the fenced in area of the residence, and being aggressive towards the property owner and the owners cats, killing some of them. Also of concern was an elderly woman who lives at the residence and would have been able to defend herself against such a large, aggressive dog,” the report states.

According to the report, the animal control officer observed the dog foaming from the mouth and it did not have a collar or tags indicating it had been vaccinated against rabies.

The officer tried multiple times to make friendly contact with the dog, according to the report, including “offering the back of his hand to the dog through the chain link fence, to which the dog tried to snap and bite him through,” the report states.

The officer was unable to use a catch pole, deeming the action too dangerous to himself and risking allowing the dog back onto the streets, according to the report.

Winters PD says after all other options were exhausted, “the decision was made to neutralize the dog by means of a firearm discharge,” the report states.

After shooting the dog in the head one time, according to the report, the animal control officer, “waited to determine if the dog had succumbed to the injury, before attempting to safely remove the dog.”

Police say during this time, a neighbor confronted the officer while recording video, which prevented him from killing the dog in a timely manner, the report states:

“The verbal confrontation drew [the officer’s] attention away from the dog, interfering with [his] ability to carry out his official duties in a timely manner, by being concerned with the approaching citizens demeanor and their safety, while discharging a firearm.”

From Winters PD incident report

The officer then fired a second shot that successfully “neutralized” the dog, according to the report.

Police say a veterinarian determined the dog was unable to be sent for rabies testing due to the location of the shot(s) from the officer.

The report concludes, “This incident report is being made due to the discharge of a firearm by [the officer] during the normal course of his duties.”

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