Williston dog shot; family hopes for protocol changes

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

WILLISTON, SC. (WRDW) -- "It's barbaric, it's immoral, it's painful," said Kaye Green Smith.

Smith is talking about the shooting of her pet pit bull, Rowdy.
According to an incident report, a Williston police officer shot Rowdy because he was attacking a neighbor's dog.

Officers said Rowdy's owners were in violation of the leash law and that the officer was justified in the shooting.

The Smith's believe there should be different protocol.

"I feel like there are other avenues available to the police officers other than putting a 9 millimeter shell into my dog's head," Don Smith said.

The criteria for shooting an animal is similar throughout the state.

"Situations when officers feel like their life is in jeopardy by a charging a dog, they have the opportunity, the ability, and the jeopardy like they would discharge a firearm on a human being," Lt. Tim Thornton with North Augusta Public Safety said.

Smith started a Facebook page called "Justice for Rowdy" hoping the community will come together and that will spark a change in policy.

"It's not an us versus them type of thing. That's not it. There are so many wonderful police officers I just think we should change some things," Smith said.

"There's no winners right now in this situation. I hope what comes out of it is that police officers become more aware of how important dogs are to their owners and use better procedures for something like this," Smith said.

Rowdy is recovering at Augusta Animal Emergency.

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