Officer Says He Shot Dog In Fear Of His Life

ALEXANDER, AR -- A family is grieving tonight over the loss of their dog shot by an Alexander police officer on Thursday.

The officer says he felt threatened, but the dog's owners' say something else.

In a police report, issued by the Alexander Police Department,  the officer describes a vicious dog that came at him.

But the pet's owners say that's just not true.

They call the Mastiff/Shar-Pei mix a sweet dog with a big bark, but no bite.

Linda Barton says she saw an Alexander police officer shoot her dog in the head.

Barton says police came to her home after she called about an issue involving her grandson.

She says the issue was never resolved and now Barton faces another one.

Her granddaughter Kailey Northern said, "She was just beside herself. She was just traumatized. She was just crying and screaming on the phone he shot my dog, he shot my dog."

Barton described to us what led up to the shooting.

She said, "I had my arm around his neck, like this, and I was guiding him and talking to him."

Barton said the dog, named Boo, got away from her and circled the officer with his tail wagging.

She says he was being protective, but never tried to hurt the officer.

But the police report states something different.

The officer says the dog ran aggressively towards him.

He says he couldn't get back in his car and as a last resort fired one shot at the dog to stop the threat.

But Boo was still alive.

Barton said, "He kept trying to get up and he couldn't."

Northern added, "It was inhumane how he went about the situation."

The family says the officer left the home, not offering to help the suffering dog.

After calling local vets, the pet owners realized he wouldn't survive and put Boo down.

Northern said, "We had to just make the decision because we couldn't let him suffer any longer."

According to the police report, after the officer shot the dog, he issued a ticket to Barton for a vicious animal and violation of the leash law.

The report also states Barton refused to sign the citation and threw it on the ground.

She says she did that because she was so upset about the loss of her dog.

Also in the report, the officer stated he didn't have a taser on him, so he had to use his weapon to protect himself.

The family would like to talk to the Alexander Police Department about their policies on aggressive dogs and perhaps making some changes so this doesn't happen again.

We did talk to the police chief briefly about this incident, he sent us a news release yesterday.

But today, we could not get a hold of him to answer questions on the department's aggressive dog policy and training.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.

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