November 23, 2014
A New Zealand community is in shock after a police officer shot a dog with an arrow earlier this month. According to The New Zealand Herald, a dog in Whakatane was seriously injured, but is expected to survive.
Zeta, a 4-year-old bull mastiff had wandered onto the property of a police officer, and was shot with an arrow on its way back home last Wednesday. The arrow struck Zeta in the chest, causing serious injury. The DailyMail.Co.UK stated that miraculously it missed all vital organs.
Owner Jess Wall originally believed Zeta had been shot on private property, but later learned the officer shot the dog on his property. Jess describes what happened once her dog returned home, stating
“Then he walked straight in the door – which we thought was weird [because he’s strictly an outside dog] – and fell on the floor in front of us and the arrow was sticking out of him.”
Three days after the shooting the sworn police officer admitted responsibility for injuring Zeta with the arrow. Eastern Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Kevin Taylor says the officer is still on duty, but a criminal, as well as an employment investigation are being conducted by two investigators from outside the Eastern Bay area.
A senior office has spoken to Jess to assure her the matter is being taken seriously.
A spokesman with the SPCA said the offensive act wasn’t carried out in the call of duty, stating
“If a dog comes on to your property that’s the last thing you do. The other question that has to be asked is did the animal suffer and it is highly possible it did. If it did, this officer is laying himself open for a possible animal welfare charge.”
It’s a violation of the 2010 Animal Welfare Amendment Act to willfully or recklessly ill treat an animal involving prolonged pain and suffering and the need for vet treatment.
This means the officer may face charges equal to animal cruelty. Since two outside agencies will be handling the investigation, the SPCA hopes it doesn’t have to get involved in the case.
Jess, the veterinarian who treated Zeta, and the SPCA are still in shock that a police officer would do this to a family dog. In an interview with the Whakatane Beacon Jess said
“It is not the behaviour you would expect from someone who’s supposed to be an upstanding member of the community.”