Animal Control Shoots Dog

"We can't bring Maggie back, but maybe we can keep someone else's little dog from people overreacting and killing it," Diana Thibodaux said.

Diana Thibodaux sits in her yard, a yard filled with pictures of her dog Maggie and signs letting her neighbors know what happened.

Last Wednesday morning, police got a 911 call about a vicious black lab running loose in Ardsley Park. Diana wasn't home at the time.

But according to neighbors, Maggie jumped the fence and was running loose in the yard. Maggie wasn't wearing a collar--that was hanging under the carport.

Police and animal control officers chased the dog to a fenced-in yard two blocks away. The animal control officer shot Maggie twice with a tranquilizer before she would calm down. When Diana came home from lunch a couple hours later, she heard the news.

"First they told me they had her on the truck and they'd bring her home, then they put me on hold," Diana said. "They came back and said they tranquilized her and took her to the vet, so I rushed to the vet, I waited and waited, finally they brought her in and the vet said she had been dead for about two and a half hours when they got there."

Diana is asking people to sign a petition. She wants the animal control officer to be suspended until police finish their investigation. So far she has several sheets with about 600 signatures. "I want them to be trained to tell the difference between a two-year-old playful, excited, terrified lab and a vicious dog," Diana said.

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitain Police Internal Affairs Office is investigating. So far they have not suspended the animal control officer. At this point, they say he was justified in using a tranquilizer gun to subdue the dog. Investigators say this is the second time in a week they've been called to this house.

Police Chief Dan Flynn did call Diana to offer his condolences and let her know that the matter is being taken seriously.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com