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Pet owner says deputy who killed her dog was 'trigger happy'

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 8:46 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 11:29 AM
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A Graniteville woman says an Aiken County Sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot her dog in her driveway Monday was “trigger happy” and killed the animal without facing any real threat.

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Lalonda Allen (left) stands with her daughter Adora, and her son Jordan outside their Graniteville home Tuesday. Allen claims that Aiken County public safety officers shot her dog Mya after answering to a complaint that the dog was roaming around.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Lalonda Allen (left) stands with her daughter Adora, and her son Jordan outside their Graniteville home Tuesday. Allen claims that Aiken County public safety officers shot her dog Mya after answering to a complaint that the dog was roaming around.

According to a sheriff’s office incident report, Deputy C. Miller found the 2-year-old pit bull named Mya near Lalonda Allen’s home on Aiken Road around 2:30 p.m. after being flagged down by a man who said he was attacked by a dog. Two women also told Miller they helped chase the dog away from the man, according to the report.

Miller stated that he called Animal Control for backup and had to wait in his patrol car because the dog was barking and charging at the car. The dog then went into a yard but wandered back into the street when an animal control officer arrived, according to the report.

Allen said at this point she heard the commotion from inside as she was getting dressed and opened the front door to find the officers cornering Mya in the driveway.

Allen said the officer asked if she was the owner and she shouted back that she was.

“Then he yelled at me to get back in the house, just like that,” Allen said. “He didn’t even give me a chance to call her into the yard or nothing.”

Miller reported the dog “charged” the animal control officer several times as he attempted to catch her, so he shot the dog once in the shoulder with his Glock 22 pistol.

When she tried get up, Miller fired a second shot to her head, according to the report.

Leroy Brown, 24, said he was walking from the Blue Top Grill a half-block away when he saw the deputy and animal control officer cornering the dog.

Brown said the dog did not appear to be vicious or act like she was about to attack.

“She was just barking because they were around her yard,” Brown said. “The (animal control officer) just backed up and made no effort to catch her.”

Allen said her 45-pound Mya had never attacked anybody and was well-known in the neighborhood.

She didn’t worry when the dog brushed up against her 1-year-old grandson or played with him on the floor. She was loved by the neighbors and often got four meals a day from people dropping food over the fence.

On Tuesday, Mya’s blood still stained the gravel street in front of Allen’s driveway.

“She wasn’t aggressive at all, she was never taught that,” Allen said. “They just figure because it’s a pit bull that they can shoot her. But it’s not fair. She was like family.”

Aiken County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Eric Abdullah said the department launched an investigation into the incident after receiving a complaint.

As of Tuesday, Miller was still on active duty pending the investigation, Abdullah said.

Brown said he is concerned about a deputy using his gun so freely in a neighborhood where children play in the front yards and cars are constantly driving through.

From observing the incident, Brown also said he didn’t think the dog was acting threatening enough to be shot and that the officer overreacted, taking a pet from a family.

“Here this woman saw her dog brutally murdered, and she didn’t even get that chance to coax her into her house,” Brown said. “It was at a time when children were getting out of school. What if one of those two bullets ricocheted and killed somebody? Not only did the dog die, but we very easily could have lost a person.”

While pit bulls have developed a reputation as aggressive, dangerous dogs over the last few decades, Katherine Miller of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said behavior can not be generalized in any breed.

The habit for media outlets to report pit bull attacks and the presence of the dogs in sport fighting has molded a perception that they are dangerous animals. However, the Centers for Disease Control has reported breed-specific ordinances in response to attacks are impractical.

While pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers make up the majority of fatal attacks in the U.S., they also far outnumber many other breeds in population, according to CDC data. Therefore, other breeds may bite at higher rates in proportion to their numbers.

Miller, ASPCA director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research, said it helps for police departments to get better trained on how to identify canine body language and actual signs of aggression to avoid unnecessary actions.

“There are so many factors associated with aggression in dogs and breed is not the predominant factor,” she said.

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Little Lamb
46005
Points
Little Lamb 12/17/13 - 11:28 pm
5
8
Investigation

I wonder if the Humane Society of the United States will do an "undercover investigation" of this incident, and quit pestering Grooo?

itsanotherday1
43055
Points
itsanotherday1 12/17/13 - 11:34 pm
14
4
What do their numbers have to do with it?

"While pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers make up the majority of fatal attacks in the U.S., they also far outnumber many other breeds in population, according to CDC data. Therefore, other breeds may bite at higher rates in proportion to their numbers."

I will face 10 biting chihuahuas at once before facing a Pit or Rottweiler.(provided I have bluejeans on) ;)

It is about their ability and will to KILL you idiots, not the biting statistics compared to other breeds.

allhans
23645
Points
allhans 12/18/13 - 01:24 am
15
4
These pit bulls are strong

These pit bulls are strong dogs...it is hard for a person to fight them off or for the owner to control them..

I am not surprised that the owners say the dog wasn't dangerous...that's what they always say.

Casting_Fool
1133
Points
Casting_Fool 12/18/13 - 02:57 am
9
11
IMO, the officer was wrong.

IMO, the officer was wrong. Animal Control was there, the owner was there, and the officers were encroaching on the dog's territory. They should have allowed the owner to approach and restrain the dog, after all, it was on her property.

Dachshunds are worse biters than pit bulls, but everyone thinks that they're cute and harmless (I own one, BTW.)

I've been severely bitten by adult dogs three times, and all three times were by different German shepherds or a German shepherd mix, never any of the pit bulls that I've met. I have friends with adult pit bulls, some of those dogs are gentle babies, and some of them, presumably like this dog, are not happy when strangers enter their territory and bark up a storm

Ascribing violent tendencies to particular dog breeds is similar to ascribing violent tendencies to people based on their racial characteristics. I'm sure that no one wants the color of their skin used as an arbitrary label that misidentifies their tendency toward or away from violence.

In any case, the officer appears to have misjudged the situation, and unless the dog has been reported as dangerous in its past, he may have to pay a price for killing the dog and traumatizing the family.

Note: According to the article, this particular dog was not identified as being the dog that "attacked" the man. Apparently the man suffered no injuries that required first aid. Weird attack where a dog leaves no evidence.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 12/18/13 - 11:49 am
10
4
Casting Fool

I can see your point, IF you take every world Mrs. Allen and Brown said to be truth. The problem is, I DON'T.

I don't know what exactly happened out there. But I DO know I've been bit numerous times in my career. I've also shot several dogs that were being aggressive and attacking, of which dogs I'm suuuuure the owner would say there dog wasn't aggressive.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 12/18/13 - 11:52 am
10
4
"In any case, the officer

"In any case, the officer appears to have misjudged the situation, and unless the dog has been reported as dangerous in its past, he may have to pay a price for killing the dog and traumatizing the family."

First of all, the dog WAS reported dangerous, just minutes prior to this shooting. The deputy was "Flagged" down by a man who was chased by the dog. Two other witnesses, (two females) helped chase the dog away from this man. Read the story again!!

Now, maybe Ms. Allen should have kept her dog in HER yard, on a leash or fenced in area. Maybe she shouldn't let her Pit Bull run loose to endanger other's lives. She is endangering a good man's career and life, because SHE made a terrible decision to leave her dog to run loose!! I'm sure they've interviewed the man who flagged the deputy down and the two females who helped the man. Do you think THEY will say the dog was passive? I dond't think so.

I have a German Shepherd myself. Yes, I feel perfectly comfortable with my Shepherd playing with my 11 month olds in my living room. But YOU, had better not come anywhere near my house, because HE protects those children and my yard. He does NOT like strangers!! He WILL bite you!! Therefore I keep him in a fenced in back yard and NOT running free.

Any questions????

So, it sounds to me like it's Ms. Allen's fault from the very start!! Your dog was obviously a nuisance, so don't let your dog outside!!

Also, it has NOTHING to do with which breed is more prone to biting, don't be ridiculous!! If a Chihuahua is coming at me growling and snarling, I'm going to use him as a football to kick a field goal!! I would LOVE to see you try this with a Pit Bull!! It's about the power of the animal to inflict great bodily harm IF they attack!! One has to articulate they felt thier lives were in danger. That's hard to articulate with a 2 lbs Chihuahua coming at you!!

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 12/18/13 - 07:31 am
0
0
The officer did the right
Unpublished

The officer did the right thing... if the dog was a danger to anyone then he should have done exactly what he did. He was there on a call because the dog had already attacked someone else.

Clemsondoc
169
Points
Clemsondoc 12/18/13 - 07:35 am
12
3
Why was dog let roaming?

I have to sweetest dog and she is a great guard dog, but I don't let her roam the neighborhood. Whatever other people may say on here the vast majority of all dog attacks you see in the news are pit bulls bc they are a more aggressive breed. They are great protectors and very loving to their owners and people they feel comfortable about. Common sense says you don't let your pit bull roam the neighborhood. The owner had no idea where her dog was until the tragic end to the story.

ken8375309
1627
Points
ken8375309 12/18/13 - 07:48 am
9
6
It amazes me how people try

It amazes me how people try to say any dog can bite.. no other breed can inflict such massive destruction so quickly with no warning signs. This dog was bred for it's killing abilities. This breed should have a mandatory spay/neut policy and should never be anywhere near a household with children.. Owners should be required to register these dogs, and maintain a minimum 1 million dollar liability insurance policy.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 12/18/13 - 08:12 am
10
2
Banned in Many Countries

I am not a fan of these Breeds. Pitbulls are banned in the UK and many places in Canada. My experience with these animals are one of caution and fear. They have killed Humans, as, I am sure other breeds have, but you try to take one of these dogs on and you will find out how powerful they are.

With that in mind, there was one loose in my subdivision a few months back, charging at people. If it had come on my property, needdless to say, he would have been a statistic. End of story.

Pops
8397
Points
Pops 12/18/13 - 08:34 am
10
4
Dog running loose

charging people. Do not wait for it to maybe kill a small child. Shoot it.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 12/18/13 - 09:26 am
9
3
155 lbs Rottie owner here myself

In fact it is sitting here on my feet keeping them warm as I type.

It is a big loving animal, that the grandkids play with roughly, and he pushes them back around. A great family dog which can be verified anyone that has visited our house, "while we are home". We have owned Pits also with zero problems.

My point in saying all this?
A dog is what you raise it to be, no different than a kid.

THE STORY POINTS OUT
the dog had already charged several people repeatedly, and demonstrated the dog was aggressive and displayed a high probability to bite and seriously injure.

The point that Animal Control was finally on scene has little to do whether the LEO capped the dog. It was loose it was charging (attacking) the public. It was a constant threat. Go to YOUTUBE and search Animal Control vs. PIT. You quickly understand Animal Control, while skilled, are in as much danger as the public depending on the dog.

When ANY large dog latches on to a person, it becomes increasingly in control of the situation. So

QUESTION:
What was the Animal Control Officers statement about this incident?
We hear from the owners that created the situation by their lack of control. But not the Animal Control Officers.

YES
There are ways to stop AND/OR disable any dog that is attacking you.
My way has always been to seek quick total control by going for the eyes and nose area, in manners understood given a little thought.

FOR THE LESS AGGRESSIVE VICTIMS, HELPFUL VIDEOS
A slightly more dangerous process, requiring a 2nd person to remove the attacking dog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ebR37K8hDg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqDGrQL5NQo

BTW: it is a GLOCK Model 22 and a 40cal, not a .22 Glock

.22 bullets weight 34 to 40 grains
.40 bullets weight 160 to 200 grains
A big difference in stopping power.

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 12/18/13 - 09:43 am
14
0
On Tuesday, Mya’s blood still stained the gravel street.....

Owning a potentially dangerous animal comes with responsibilities - had the owners kept it confined, as the law requires, it would not have been roaming the streets and threatening people. If the officer failed to take action - and the dog escaped and ended up mauling someone's child - guess who would end up being sued? It would be the county and its employees, not the owners who now blame everyone but themselves. Also, I think the officer's Glock may have been a .40 caliber "Model 22" but not a .22 caliber. Nobody in their right mind would take on a charging pit bill with a rimfire.

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 10:05 am
0
8
He should spend at least two

He should spend at least two years in prison like they guy who killed the puppy. Was the dog a violent breed and did the owner have the mandatory 50K insurance policy?

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 10:09 am
2
4
The owner would be sued. It's

The owner would be sued. It's the new law-why else the mandatory insurance. og Ownership Law include a requirement for registration of dangerous dogs as well as the necessity of such owner to carry at least $50,000 in liability insurance. Owners of these dogs who do not comply with these and other provisions may have their dogs confiscated and destroyed. Any person who violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/18/13 - 12:30 pm
9
0
x2 on caliber

Not going to second guess a guy standing in front of a potential/perceived threat. Would not have occurred if said dog was secured and not roaming. Things happen and dogs are clever at getting unsecured, but that is on the owner, not the officer in this case. Sad loss all the same.

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 10:49 am
4
6
You don't need a gun to take

You don't need a gun to take down a violent dog. I've broken up two dogs fighting and been attacked numerous times as a youth. Rarely will you find a dog over a hundred pounds-so a hundred pound dog against a 200 lb young man isn't much of a fight. People are afraid of dogs and dogs sense that. We use to use pit bulls to catch wild hogs that we would pin up and fatten up for awhile. Those dogs feared me so I had no problems.

gaj265
201
Points
gaj265 12/18/13 - 08:25 pm
4
11
So Wrong

1. The officer was a stranger in the dog's yard/territory, so the dog barked like ANY dog would do. Even a Chihuahua would bark at a stranger in their yard.
2. The officer cornered the dog and it charged him to get out of the corner, like ANY dog would do.
3. When the owner came to the door, the officer ordered her back into the house. Why did he not ask her to call the dog or come get her dog?
He did not even give the dog a chance. She could have locked the dog up while the charges against the dog were investigated. This officer set himself up as judge, jury, and executioner.
For those of you who say he was right for killing the dog because it was a pit bull - you are brainwashed and misinformed. I guess it would be wrong to you if it was a cocker spaniel or a lab or a poodle. This officer's gun needs to be taken before he takes another life - animal or human.
@allhans - Don't be such a jerk. I did read the article. I am just as entitled to my opinion as you are to yours.

allhans
23645
Points
allhans 12/18/13 - 11:44 am
4
3
gaj265 ..."According to a

gaj265 ..."According to a sheriff’s office incident report, Deputy C. Miller found the 2-year-old pit bull named Mya near Lalonda Allen’s home on Aiken Road around 2:30 p.m. after being flagged down by a man who said he was attacked by a dog. Two women also told Miller they helped chase the dog away from the man, according to the report."

This all happened before the officer took action. Read the article.

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 12:07 pm
2
1
Ah so the lady is probably in

Ah so the lady is probably in violation of law, does she have the mandatory insurance?, the officer had all legal right to take the dog down it appears. Dog Ownership Law includes a requirement for registration of dangerous dogs as well as the necessity of such owner to carry at least $50,000 in liability insurance. Owners of these dogs who do not comply with these and other provisions may have their dogs confiscated and destroyed. Any person who violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor. So was the dog registered and she had the insurance-she could facing a misdemeanor.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 12/18/13 - 12:09 pm
7
3
allhans

You can't use logic against people who have an obvious and automatic bias against law enforcement!!

We read the articles, but we do NOT know what actually happened. But some people on here can't even read the article with accuracy!! The article clearly states the officer said the dog was charging his car AND going in and out of the yard.

"The dog then went into a yard but wandered back into the street when an animal control officer arrived, according to the report."

As someone who has worked thousands of similar incidents in 17 years, I completely understand how this could happen. Dog leaves yard, attacking guy walking by; two females help the man. Dog finally retreats to his yard, until the next victim walks by. In this case, it appears the next person to get close to the yard is the police, then animal control.

KEEP YOUR DOG IN YOUR YARD!!! This would have never happened if this dog wouldn't have been loose to chase other people!! How simple is that?

If you live in my neighborhood, you BETTER keep your dog secured in your yard. I have children ages 8, 6 and two 11 months old twins. If your dog comes into my yard I WILL NOT wait until they've mauled them, to find out if the dog is aggressive!! THAT, you can take to the bank!! It's also just plain common sense!! Your dogs, nor mine are worth the lives of children or other persons!!

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 12:21 pm
1
2
The dog was free to

The dog was free to roam-against the law. It is a dangerous breed so was the dog registered and she have the insurance-or was she breaking the law. Witnesses noted the dog attacked this man. The dog's character later isn't an issue-just like letting her grandchild play with the dog. Take all adults out of the room and leave that dog for a day with the child and see what will happen-if you are really that foolish. I dunno know anacondas killing peoples kids-people have no sense of animal behavior.

Bizkit
31396
Points
Bizkit 12/18/13 - 12:30 pm
4
2
I've seen what a lovin'

I've seen what a lovin' family pet can do when it turns violent. Funny people won't trust other humans but would leave themselves completely vulnerable to a dog that they trust. Reminds me of the nut who lived with the bears-what predictably happened-he got et. Remember The Life of Pi when he thought he could "sense" a trust for the tiger. The father had to give him a cruel demonstration of life and the tiger's true nature.

LLArms
470
Points
LLArms 12/18/13 - 12:31 pm
3
1
I don't believe Glock makes a

I don't believe Glock makes a .22 caliber pistol. To the article writer, I believe you meant he used his Glock Model 22 which is a .40 caliber.

Just a heads up.

Edit: NM, looks like someone fixed the period being where it shouldn't have been.

Sean Moores
385
Points
Sean Moores 12/18/13 - 12:32 pm
4
0
@ noc noc, Rob Pavey et al

I spoke with Tracey. It was a Glock 22 .40 caliber. I fixed it in the story. We will run a correction in tomorrow's print edition. Thanks.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/18/13 - 12:34 pm
2
0
David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/18/13 - 12:32 pm
4
0
I hardly trust my 15 lb JRT.

I hardly trust my 15 lb JRT. Little psycho idgit is what he is.

happychimer
17558
Points
happychimer 12/18/13 - 12:43 pm
1
11
My 3 year old granddaughter

My 3 year old granddaughter is their pit's boss. She obeys other family members, but is fast to obey the youngest. Their pit is a big young'un. She is loved and well taken care of. She stays in the house most of the time, and in the back yard when watched. She sometimes sneaks to a next door neighbor's yard, but he loves the dog too, and says he enjoys her visits. She is hyper and playful and aggravating sometimes, but never has shown to be aggressive. She loves her family. The back yard is fenced in except for the driveway. She is supervised when she goes out of the house, and she gets regular baths and is clean. Those who would harm a dog just because of the breed, does not deserve ever to be trusted. never! That officer did not have to kill the dog. He could have used pepper spray. The officer is just trigger happy and hates animals.

happychimer
17558
Points
happychimer 12/18/13 - 12:47 pm
0
3
As for insurance, if that is

As for insurance, if that is the law, then it must be in SC.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 12/18/13 - 12:53 pm
7
4
Happychimer

What if he didn't have pepper spray? Not all officer's carry pepper spray!!

It's so easy to set here and blame the officer, because you WEREN'T there!! It's so easy for people to say they would have done this or that, when they weren't in fear of attack. I've BEEN there!! Not such an easy decision when you're faced with danger and have to make a split second decision!!

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