Owners of Dog Shot by Wheeling Police Protest Outside City Building
When a Wheeling Police officer shot and killed a family's dog on April 30, it set off a firestorm of controversy. Now, thousands of people are viewing the "Justice For Shadow website," and signing an online petition to have that officer removed from the force.
On Monday, Shadow's owners held signs outside the Wheeling City-County building. Donna Terry's family admits that their dog was an escape artist, and the five-year-old black German Shepherd loved to get out and run, and they had been to court because of that, and paid fines. But, they say Shadow was never aggressive. They say he was loose the day he was shot, but they disagree with the officer's statement that he was flagged down and was told the dog was charging people. They say the officer had other options, like tazering the dog, and they say the dog was on their porch, not running loose.
County dog warden Doug McCroskey, however said the dog had shown aggression several times and the city solicitor said Shadow was frequently in trouble for running loose. Meanwhile, they say the website Justice For Shadow has had ten thousand hits, with three thousand people signing an online petition to have the officer dismissed.
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said the black German Shepherd was deemed a "vicious dog" by the city of Wheeling in April 2013. The chief added that the dog was running loose in east Wheeling, and a male owner received a citation for a "vicious dog at large." Chief Schwertfeger said he plans to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, which is protocol anytime an officer discharges a weapon during a call.