The shooting of a dog by city employees in an apartment complex set off a firestorm with some neighbors and animal lovers over the internet.
Mayor Jimmy Greenway confirmed to WTOC three Twin City employees were involved in the unsuccessful capture and subsequent shooting of the dog and the employees will be disciplined.
"We are also going to get whatever equipment they may need, whatever training they may need to make sure this never happens again," the mayor said.
Greenway said two employees initially responded to at least one complaint over the dog wandering an apartment complex on Old Swainsboro Road. The mayor confirmed some witness claims to WTOC that the employees used pepper spray to try and capture the dog. Afterward, the two employees left and a third came to the complex, shot the dog and took it away.
"That is not in our policy. Our people are supposed to capture the dog and transfer it to the county pound and the county deals with it from there," he explained.
Greenway said police and some city workers are authorized to use deadly force on an animal if the animal poses a threat to the officer or to a citizen. The mayor said his talks with the employees and with witnesses who have come forward cast differing accounts of whether such force was warranted in this case.
One neighbor who provided WTOC with footage of the employee loaded the dead dog into a truck said the small dog did not pose a threat to anyone. The neighbor said they were outraged to see the spraying and the shooting.
But another neighbor who witnesses the shooting said the dog had been aggressive toward them and another resident, to the point they were afraid to exit their cars or homes.
There were concerns over the dog nipping or biting someone, whether the employees or a citizen," said the mayor. "But how they handled this animal is not how we want to do things.
Citing the city's personnel policy, Mayor Greenway would not elaborate on how the employees would be disciplined.