Off-duty Scott County corrections officer fired for killing family dog

June 14, 2013

In a very rare case of a dog shot by police, this new case has brought some justice to the dead dog, and the officer involved now faces a charge of intent to kill an animal.

The incident happened last week in Scott County, Tennessee when corrections officer Travis Harness claimed to have run over an 8-year-old Miniature Schnauzer on Hurricane Road in the Norma community.

Harness told investigators that he then felt the need to shoot the small dog to put it out of its misery. Harness shot the dog with his own gun and wasn’t on duty at the time. Then he tried to hide the dog’s body by burying it in the woods.

Owner Lisa Anderson filed a complaint which led to the matter being investigated, including a necropsy on her dog at the University of Tennessee Vet School.

According to Scott County Sheriff Mike Cross, Harness as placed on paid administrative leave until the results of the necropsy were in. The decision to fire the two-year veteran of the sheriff’s department was announced on June 13, when the results of the necropsy showed the dog died of a gunshot wound. No other injuries were found.

In an interview with WATE 6 News, Cross stated “It was an unfortunate situation for both parties. Through the department’s criminal investigation detectives, the case was appropriately investigated and proper action was taken.”

No one knows why Harness decided to shoot the dog. He has no prior criminal history before this incident. Harness will appear in court on June 19 for an arraignment, where he now faces charges of intent to kill an animal.

This is a case of a police chief making the right decision to remove an officer for committing an act of violence against animals. Whether on or off duty, no officer should be allowed to retain their job if they’re an animal abuser.

Kudos, Chief Cross. Other officials should learn by your example. Police officers should set a higher example than the average citizen, due to the nature of their job. This officer definitely wasn’t setting a good example of how an officer, whether off or on duty, should behave.

Readers, do you believe Chief Cross made the right decision? This writer would like to thank him for doing what’s right for his community.

www.wate.com/story/22572045/scott-county-deputy-fired-for-shooting-woman…

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