While investigating a hit-and-run accident on Saturday, officer Tony Redmond of Medway, Maine officer shot a dog he claims attacked him.
According to the Bangor Daily News, the dog's owner, Frank Bishop, who witnessed the incident, says his dog was only barking and posed no threat whatsoever to the officer.
“My dog doesn’t attack people. He is a service dog,” Bishop said Sunday. “The dog is very peaceful. But when people pull in the yard, he barks. That is his job.”
The dog, a mix named Jake, had parts of his ear and shoulder blown off by the gunfire, though he is expected to survive.
The incident occurred while Redmond was looking for the owner of the car seen at the scene of the hit-and-run accident. It turns out Bishop was not the perpetrator, though Redmond did not know this at the time.
Bishop recalled, “I came to the door, and I said to the officer, ‘Can I help you?’ He said, ‘Are you Frank?’ I said, ‘Yeah, just let me get my shoes on.’ And I was pulling on one shoe when I heard the bang (of the gun).”
Jake the dog began to bark when the officer approached the home. The officer, who felt threatened, shot the dog, apparently aiming for his face, as the ear and shoulder took the brunt of the gunshot.
Following the gunshot, "Bishop said he looked outside and saw Jake running into the house. Then he saw Redmond, his gun still drawn, laying on his back on the ground, apparently having fallen as he backed away from the dog," reports the Bangor Daily News.
Police Chief Cameron McDunnah commented on the incident, stating, “I don’t want to sound callous about what happened to the dog: That’s not how I feel, but Tony [Redmond] did what he was supposed to do. In speaking to Tony, it was clear that he was reacting to a threat. It’s just an unfortunate incident.”
The incident is not being investigated at this time, though Bishop plans to submit the bill of medical costs to the town of Medway, feeling that the officer should not have shot his dog.