An off-duty county sheriff's deputy has been accused of shooting and killing a neighbor's three-year-old dog.
The man is alleged to have been involved in an incident in Cottleville, St Charles County, Missouri, US, in which a pellet gun is believed to have been fired at the Spanish Mastiff called Apollo. It later sparked a heated exchange that was filmed by the dog's owner and shared on Facebook.
According to Apollo's family, the dog's alarming injury was quickly noticed on the afternoon of May 22, 2022.
“The moment he turned around, he started coughing and foaming at the mouth and collapsing,” said Erica Hansen. “We thought, 'oh my God, it's a snake. He must have a snake bite.”
After trying to resuscitate the poor pooch, Apollo was taken to the vet by Hansen's husband, Eric Bacon, where X-rays revealed a pellet was lodged in the dog's lungs.
The injury proved fatal and, when they returned home, the family tried to work out what had happened.
Bacon can subsequently be heard quizzing a neighbor on filmed footage, asking if he owned a pellet gun.
“Yes I do,” the man replies, prompting Bacon to ask: “Did you shoot my dog?”
The man identifies himself as a St Charles County Sheriff's deputy and asks Bacon what the dog was doing in his yard.
He also asks Bacon whether or not the dog is a Pit Bull. Bacon later told the St Louis television station KSDK (opens in new tab) that the dog did not go near the man's yard.
The shooting incident has been reported to the St Charles police, animal control and the Sheriff. The prosecutor's office has requested a special prosecutor be appointed to review the case.
No charges have been filed.
David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.
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