A Holly Hills, Fla. dog is recovering after being shot three times by cops on the hunt for a prostitute on Friday.
The Volusia County officers opened fire after a perceived attack by the homeowner’s pet.
“I was sitting in there, watching TV, and all of a sudden we hear three gunshots,” said Richard Stotlar.
The officers, who didn’t have a search warrant, had demanded entry into Stotlar’s house, believing prostitute resided there. Stotlar told them they had their facts wrong and refused.
"I repeatedly told them that she didn't live here. They wanted to argue with me, so I just shut the door. Then they went over here and pried my gate open and went back there,” Stotlar said.
Stotlar ran outside when he heard the shots and saw that the cops had surrounded his dog, Lady, claiming she had made an aggressive move.
“(The officer) shot her so close, she had powder burns on her face,” Stotlar said. “They knew they did wrong. They said, ‘Don’t worry about it. The bill is on us.’”
“She is a big baby. She is not a vicious animal,” Stotlar said of his pooch, which he rescued a year ago.
Stotlar said the police knew they were in the wrong, using the excuse that the one who shot Lady was “a rookie.”
So far they haven’t footed the bill as promised, while Stotlar has shelled out $3,000 for Lady’s care. She still has a bullet fragment lodged near her ear canal, but was stitched up and is slowly recovering.
Stotlar says the cops were way off base with their so-called investigation.
“They didn’t even investigate to see where this person lived. I Googled her on my phone, and she was arrested on Nov. 28, so she might still be in jail,” Stotlar said.
Holly Hill police said they are conducting a “use of force” investigation, but the rookie officer who fired the shots is still on the job. Meanwhile, Stotlar has contacted PETA and a lawyer to try and make things right.
Lady is only one victim of police violence towards canines, and she has fared better than most. Police officers pulling their guns on dogs has become something of an accepted practice in police forces across the country. The Kickstarter-funded documentary Puppycide (which did not reach its funding goal) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have taken police officers to task for their reckless use of force against animals.