Owner of dog shot by Irmo, SC police officer issued citation; faces $1,092 fine

September 6, 2013

The family of an Irmo, SC dog shot and killed by police on Labor Day has been issued a citation, WIS News reported September 6.

Kenya’s owner, Karen Counts (original story listed Jared Mann) was issued a citation by Richland County Animal Control on September 3 for having a dangerous or vicious animal.

Karen must appear in court on September 30 to answer charges, where she faces a $1,092.50 fine.

Kenya was reported to have run after a man jogging down the street near the Charring Cross Road property, and police who responded to the call said Kenya attacked them. The family dog had returned to her own yard after allegedly chasing the jogger, but being on private property wasn’t enough to save her life. The police report stated

“He charged me. I had to shoot him.”

Kenya was a 4-year-old Shepherd/lab mix, who even the neighbors say was harmless. Those same neighbors who offered to get help for the dog, which Kenya was denied.

So not only is the officer not going to be reprimanded, lose his job, or be given any disciplinary action whatsoever, now Karen has to face being fined for having her dog shot on its own property.

Do officer’s not prepare for a possibly aggressive dog when called on a dog at large incident? Why is deadly force always necessary?

This is the case where neighbors asked to take the critically injured dog to the vet, and police refused. The officers used a tarp to cover Kenya’s body, with the dog still alive and fighting for life beneath it.

Is it right for officers to deny treatment to a wounded animal. How would you feel if police ignored pleas to get your dog help, and instead covered your dying dog with a tarp while it was still breathing?

How is that not a crime? If nothing else, wouldn’t it be considered negligence involving death of a companion animal, since police knew she was alive when they covered her?

No one is asking for police to be attacked by a dog. Only that non-lethal methods be available and the officer trained in how to use them. Because failure to train officers on how to contain a dog will cost communities money, as well as the reputation of their police department.

There will be a reckoning against police officers who shoot family dogs. It will come in the form of high-dollar lawsuits, such as the one filed last week in Baltimore, where the family of a slain dog named Kincaid filed charges asking for $450,00 plus attorney fees.

Your comments are welcome.



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