Unfortunately, aggressive dogs off their leashes sometimes get shot in self-defense. Not all threats walk on two legs. However, in this case, residents of the Texas neighborhood where a dog was shot have doubts about whether the shooting was appropriate.
At 7:47 Wednesday morning in Buda, Texas, a man was walking his smaller dog when a larger breed of dog, which had been let off its leash by the owner, approached. According to the man, who is an officer with the Rollingwood Police Department, the larger dog attacked him and his dog. In response, he shot and killed it.
“I would’ve never guessed in a million years that he actually had a gun and was going to shoot him,” says the woman whose dog was killed.
“The two dogs were growling and barking at each other, and just as I got to him, the man grabbed him by the collar and picked him up.
“He came out of his collar, and [the man] looked at me and he said, ‘if you don’t get your dog, I’m going to shoot him.’ And I turned around to grab him and he shot him right in front of me.
“He didn’t even give me a chance to catch him at all. In fact, if I had acted any faster, I might have been in the line of those bullets because I was going to reach down to grab him and he shot him in the head,” said Bandit’s owner.
The officer has not agreed to tell his side of the story at this time. Neighbors are taking sides.
“Why do you need a gun in the morning?” asked one neighbor named Gabriela Romero. “Who’s going to assault you?”
“The bullet could have gone anywhere,” said another neighbor, Martin Robledo. “It could have hit a kid, it could have hit someone else. You never know, a freak accident.”
A third neighbor, who heard the gunshots but didn’t witness the shooting, said:
“It was an aggressive response to a situation… I have resolved them with a spray bottle and an aggressive stance, yelling, ‘no.’ There has to be another way to de-escalate a situation without someone or someone’s animal being shot and killed first.”
However, not all the neighbors feel the same way. One lady who’s asked not to be identified said this:
“I don’t think he woke up this morning and said, ‘I’m going to kill a dog. The dog would be alive if it was on a leash and I think this ought to be a lesson for everybody who has their dogs that they need to put their dog on a leash.”
It is against the law in the county for a dog to be off its leash in public. Although no charges have been filed at this time, the sheriff’s office is investigating the incident internally as an animal cruelty case and intends to consult the DA.
With the information that’s available, it’s not clear who was in the right. The officer might indeed have jumped the gun. However, it is clear that some residents of this Texas neighborhood are misinformed about guns and the purpose of carrying one, considering the cluelessness of the question, “Why do you need a gun in the morning?”