SCMPD Officer Shoots Dog - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/13/05

SCMPD Officer Shoots Dog

A photo of Jada. A photo of Jada.
 

Was it a case of excessive force or did police kill a woman's pet in self-defense? Patricia Wooten returned from vacation and discovered that police had killed her dog Jada.

They're still trying to sort out exactly what happened. What we do know is that instead of her beloved pet greeting her at the door, all Wooten found were pools of Jada's blood.

Although much of the blood has been cleaned up, the stains remain on Wooten's porch. "She tried to get in this door, there is blood all the way to the top," she showed us.

She still can't get over the way her beloved three-year-old pit bull-lab mix was killed Monday afternoon. "She was so innocent, so loved, wouldn't hurt nobody."

This is what police say happened. A man was in the next yard standing by the pool, holding a large stick. Jada jumped the fence and started growling. Savannah-Chatham police were called. Police and neighbors managed to chase Jada back into her yard, and that's when the problems began.

"When they chased her in the yard and trapped her in the corner, she jumped to get away from them," said Wooten. "She didn't know them, she was fearing for her life."

Jada jumped over the fence again and a Savannah-Chatham police officer pulled out his gun and shot her three times. What Wooten doesn't understand is that Animal Control was on the scene too, so why didn't they use a tranquilizer gun first?

"There was no time for another officer to use a dart," said Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Spokesman Bucky Burnsed. "This dog is vicious and was barging towards the officer. The officer responded in self-defense."

Wooten says Jada was still alive when Animal Control officials put her in the back of their car. She stayed there for 25 minutes, injured and bleeding before being taken to the animal hospital.

"This is my family member, and to be shot by an officer, that is supposed to be someone we obey," Wooten said.

Jada was put to sleep as requested by the family. The Chatham County Humane Society has gotten involved with this case after they tell us many witnesses told them that police acted inappropriately. The humane society is also helping Wooten hire an attorney.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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