'My dog is dying': Police allegedly shoot dog that just wanted ‘to play’ with them
Missty, an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, was holding a ball in her mouth and wanted to play when the officer shot her. One bullet hit the ground and one hit Missty
A man in Canada has revealed how his American Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, Missty, was shot by a Regina police officer. The incident which took place on Wednesday (August 15) saw canine officers preparing for a training session. Lance Murphy, Missty’s owner, stated that he had noticed the police in the area but there were no signs suggesting that people should stay away.
Lance described Missty as a playful dog who means no harm. "Missty is so amazing and loving, and loves everyone, and just wants to play. Of course, she was going to come towards you; she has a ball she wants you to throw for her," he said. Missty and Lance were playing when he saw one of the officers heading their way.
"He didn’t wave at me, didn’t shout at me. Missty, during the time she was coming back, noticed the officer and proceeded to go towards him with her ball in her mouth," he said in an interview with CBC. "I immediately started yelling ‘don’t shoot my dog,’ [and] ‘stop shooting my dog.’ He fired off two rounds at her at least, and it wasn’t immediately back to back BANG BANG, he had a pause in the shots." He added.
The officer, on the other hand, had warned lance that it wasn't an off-leash park. "He said this wasn’t an off-leash park and I shouldn’t be here and this is still city limits. I said, ‘Do you have a heart? Do you own a dog? My dog is dying.’," he recalled.
"The things people don’t understand is that I’m disabled and have been for 20 years. Missty is a loving dog that only aims to please. She is basically a therapy dog to me and she is my everything." He then recalled that only after crying and begging, he was allowed to bring Misty to Regina Animal Clinic.
After the vet removed a bullet, it was revealed that Missty also had a broken shoulder. Speaking to Unilad, Lance's son, Lucas said, "My dad is traumatized and suffering from the horrific event having nightmares and panic attacks. His dog is his everything and with him being disabled she really helps him in so many ways. So I’m glad she’s still around."
Corey Zaharuk, acting deputy chief for Regina Police Service said on Thursday (August 16) that their investigation revealed that the officers had set up a police dog training session when a vehicle stopped and a man released two dogs which started running off-leash near the ball diamond, where the training was taking place. Corey said an ‘experienced member of their canine unit, who has handled and trained dogs for a number of years,’ had approached Lance and asked him to put the dog on a leash or to take her away. Although, the officer was not concerned about the dog's behavior.
"At this point, the two dogs who were released from the van ran towards the officer and were not listening to their master. As the owner continued to call for the dogs to return, the officer began sensing a very troublesome behavior from one of the dogs, that appeared to him, to be assuming an aggressive posture and circling him," Corey said. He further added that the officer grew concerned about the dogs attacking him. Corey confirmed that the officer then drew his pistol and shots were fired. He confirmed one bullet went into the ground, while the other struck the dog.
He also confirmed the dog owner was understandably ‘distraught’ and police, at the time, and did not have the opportunity to discuss the matter with him. Corey added that he believes that Missty is a loving dog but unfortunately, the situation made the officer think otherwise. The officer who shot the pet is not on leave and there has been no change in his duties. The investigation with regard to the incident is still going on.
Corey believes that the investigation will help determine if the use of force was appropriate, if officer coaching and training is required, or if the use of force was inappropriate and whether the officer should be subject to criminal charges. He further added that he is aware the incident has caused an emotional storm among people but he hopes for them to not jump to conclusions until the investigation has been concluded. Since the incident, a Go Fund Me page has been set up for Missty and her owners. They have a $6,000 target of which, at the time of writing, $5,354 has been raised.