SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - #UPDATE: About a week ago, Savannah Police officers mistakenly responded to the wrong house and ending up shooting the family's dog.
Now, the dog is back at home resting, but the owner says he's not the same. They say Rock the pit bull is getting better, but they were surprised when he came home from surgery missing his front left leg.
The owner didn't want to go on camera, but she tells us her 11-month old pit bull is healing.
Savannah Police took the injured dog to Charleston for emergency surgery. He was brought back home Saturday. Police said the dog was doing well, but it was the owner who showed us the tough journey ahead for Rock's recovery. She says she didn't know they would amputate the leg until the pup made it back, showing several dozen staples on his left side. They say he's been very quiet and scared since being shot by the officer.
So far, the family is keeping the dog on medication and hoping he returns to normal spirits soon. Police say they're footing the bill, but say they don't know just how much it will add up to.
The Savannah Police Department is footing the bill for a dog's surgery after officers shot him as they were responding to a call for a house alarm early Sunday morning.
SPD says they were actually supposed to be dispatched to the 100th block of E 58th Street, but dispatch mistakenly gave them the wrong address of the 1000 block of East 58th street.
Savannah PD said that the officers were checking the house's doors when the dog rushed them. One officer responded by firing at the dog, hitting it and also sending a bullet through a door and into a washing machine. The officers rushed the dog to an emergency vet, and he was later transported to a vet in Charleston by Savannah PD K9 officers.
Despite the mistake, homeowner Wanda Moore says she's angry and just wants her dog to be okay.
"He's like one of my grandchildren. He acts like my grandbaby ladybug. He's spoiled rotten. He's spoiled," Moore said.
She says the thing that scared her the most is that the bullet could have hit one of her family members.
"They shot it up and shot up the washing machine and all," Moore said. "My husband woke me up and told me that the police shot our dog."
According to the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police sample law enforcement operations manual, "as with other use of force options, deadly force will only be used to defend the officer, other person or animal from being bitten by a vicious animal." It also says "courts have ruled that the unnecessary shooting of an animal may constitute a seizure under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution thus making the department and officer liable."
Instructors with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center say the same section of Georgia law dealing with use of deadly force or threat of it against humans should apply to animals and allows it if "he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other's imminent use of unlawful force."
The incident is under investigation and Savannah PD is taking care of all costs for the dog's injuries as well as the costs of care and recovery.