DeKalb County dog owner says police threatened arrest after shooting his dog

July 26, 2014

A Georgia dog is recovering this weekend, shot by police in it’s own yard, 11Alive News reported July 25.

Tim Theall almost lost his dog Doctor, a 9-year-old German Shepherd, Thursday evening when a DeKalb police officer shot Doctor. A video can be found here.

Tragically, Doctor had to endure unnecessary suffering after Tim was denied the chance to seek emergency veterinary treatment after police blocked his personal car twice with the police cruiser.

The officer then allegedly told Tim he’d be arrested if he didn’t remain where he was told.

The incident occurred when Tim let Doctor out of a back yard fence around 7 p.m. Thursday evening. Doctor ran around to the front yard, but before Tim could turn the corner of the house, he heard two shots and the cop yell “Holy (expletive).”

Police were responding to a false home alarm, and Doctor was shot in his own yard as police were investigating. Tim told 11 Alive

“The dog was still alive, clearly bleeding like crazy and the police officer blocked my exit. Finally he convinced me that I would be thrown in jail if I didn’t just stay where I was.”

After calling for backup, including other officers and a sergeant, an hour had passed before Tim was finally allowed to take Doctor to the emergency vet. He’s expected to recover, but the vet bills are going to be expensive.

A GoFundMe has been set up here to pay for Doctor’s care. This statement tells the family’s version of what took place

“A false alarm sent a cop to our house. My husband was in the backyard at the time, so was unaware of the cop knocking on our door. Bad timing resulted in our dog getting shot in the throat. To make matters worse, the cop wouldn’t allow us to drive him to the vet. He even followed us in the police car and blocked us from leaving our neighborhood. He said we couldn’t leave due to procedure. Second cop arrived 20 minutes later and we found out that procedure was just to take pictures of the bleeding dog. The whole time we are waiting, the cop that shot our dog promised us that he had called animal control and that they were on their way to help. They finally let my husband take our dog to the vet. I stayed behind to be further harassed. 15 minutes later and animal control arrives, along with 4 more cop cars. I find out that animal control was told to come pick up a dead dog and had no idea about the dog needing help aka still being alive. I asked the cop who shot him why he lied and he stated that he never promised help was coming.”

Tim says he can understand his dog startling the officer. But to deny treatment to a wounded, and possibly dying animal should fall under animal cruelty.

Captain Stephen Fore, a spokesman for DeKalb County police, told 11Alive the incident is under investigation. He said his officers are trained to preserve evidence at a shooting, but understands why Tim is upset for one of his officers not allowing Doctor treatment immediately after the incident.

Fore says the incident will be studied so a similar situation won’t happen again.

Here’s a word of advice, Captain Fore. Your officers are a direct reflection on your department and your community. It will NOT sit well when dog lovers hear another family dog has been shot by police.

Expect threats in the form of emails and phone calls. Expect a lot of harassment on your Facebook page. Expect suggestions to do whatever is necessary to be sure this never, EVER happens again in your department.

The fact your officer threatened to lock up Doctor’s owner for wanting to have his dog treated before the dog died will be a real thorn in your side in the coming months.

Dog owners tend to get a little miffed when threatened with jail, especially when their dog is in pain and bleeding all over the yard.

Tim, I hope you and your family raise enough funds to care for Doctor’s care. The DeKalb County police should foot the bill, but far be it for a police department to do the decent thing where dogs are concerned. Consider yourself fortunate. Most dogs shot by police die.

Information for DeKalb County Police taken from their Facebook page, just in case anyone wishes to give them a call.

1960 W Exchange Pl
Tucker, Georgia 30084
Always open
(770) 724-7600

Tim, in case your family is wondering why police shot your dog, it’s because they can, and they know they can. Very few officers are found in the wrong and are soon cleared by their respective department.




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