Shooting a dog is a big deal, to be avoided if at all possible. But sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. In this case, the man was a veteran living in Boulder Park, Illinois. The dog was named Oreo. Judging from this account at chicagotribune.com — unsympathetically (to the shooter) featuring the above image and erroneously titled Owner of dog shot dead in Boulder Hill park: ‘He loved everyone’ — the unnamed vet did the right thing. Here’s a reconfigured and excerpted version, leaving out the anti-gun animus laced throughout The Trib’s disjointed story . . .
Oreo, who was not with [his owner Jessica] Kies or on a leash during the confrontation in SuzanJohn Park, started acting aggressively toward the man walking the German shepherd named Bear [ED: not the shooter], according to Kendall County sheriff’s office reports . . .
When the man walked by with his German shepherd, Bear, on a leash, Oreo darted past Kies and over the fence, across the street to the park.
“I have a 12-year-old German shepherd, so he just thinks, ‘Oh, play toy,'” Kies said, explaining why Oreo would chase the other dog. “He was just running around them like he wanted to play.”
That’s not how Oreo’s advances came off to the man walking Bear, the other dog.
He called 911 . .
“I need someone here now,” the man yelled into the phone, according to a recording of the call. “I can’t talk. I’m trying to defend myself.”
When the operator asked if anyone was injured, he told her, “not yet.”
At this point, the good Samaritan military man entered the scene.
The neighbor who shot the dog told police in a recorded interview that he was grabbing a cigarette to go outside and smoke when he heard the other man yelling at Oreo, who had run loose.
The man has had a concealed carry permit since last June and always carries a Glock, even around the house, he told police. When he saw Oreo starting to charge at the man and Bear, it was in his back pocket.
“I’ve been here for 10 minutes fighting this dog off and the owner cannot control the dog,” the man said, in between swear words. “She’s sitting in her house doing nothing.” . . .
“I told my wife that I am going to try to go protect this man,” the neighbor told police. “That’s when I noticed that there was also three kids on the playground equipment.”
The neighbor stood between Oreo and the others, he told police.
“I told him just to keep back and away, get your dog outta here, if something’s gonna happen it’s gonna happen to me,” the man told police.
Oreo continued charging the three of them, bounding left and right and forward and backward, then stopped jumping and started lurching forward as if he was about to attack, the neighbor told police.
When Oreo got within three inches, the man drew his gun and loaded a round into the chamber, he said . . .
“(The other man) and his dog were behind me, the kids were safely up on top of the playground equipment when I did draw,” the man told police. “I know this dog’s past history… It attacked me before. I didn’t want to play games this time.”
And so he didn’t.
Note: investigators discovered that the shooter’s 3″ appraisal of his shooting distance was faulty. A deputy estimated that Oreo was actually some 10 to 12 feet away. An understandable mistake given the effects of adrenalin — and proof that you shouldn’t offer police any specific information on any shooting before speaking with a lawyer.
This was hardly Oreo’s owner’s first infraction, nor the shooter’s first encounter with the animal.
On March 8, someone called police after Oreo got loose and ran around the neighborhood, according to reports. At that time, the neighbor who later shot the dog told police that Oreo had jumped at him in his front yard and bit his left thigh. Police reports note a hole in the left leg of his pants, but no evidence the dog made contact with his skin. After that altercation, the neighbor pointed his handgun at Oreo, but did not shoot. Police cited Kies for dog running at large and no rabies inoculation tags.
On March 12, Oreo bit a home health aide at Kies’ house, according to reports. Kies told police then she thought Oreo was still upset about having a gun pulled on him earlier that week. She was once again cited for no rabies inoculation tags . . .
Kendall County Sheriff’s deputies initially received a report for a dog bite April 9. They arrived at the park to find two dogs fighting.
Sad but, in a way, inevitable. And not at all lamentable, from a self-defense perspective. No charges filed. [h/t TP]