Jacklyn Shughart needs to know why a Lebanon metropolis police officer shot and killed her 15-month-old canine.
The Lebanon girl stated she isn’t making an attempt to “bash the cops” and realizes she may not know the complete story but, however she is aware of that her 1-year-old pup Gunner – who had escaped from her yard earlier Wednesday morning – was restrained and wagging his tail when an officer drew his sidearm and fatally shot the canine within the head.
“It doesn’t warrant capturing him,” Shughart instructed LebTown. “I don’t perceive. I wasn’t there, I’m not making an attempt to bash the cops who had been there. I’m not mad at them for doing their job in the event that they thought they had been threatened.
“I’m simply making an attempt to know.”
Lebanon metropolis police Chief Todd Breiner didn’t reply Wednesday or Thursday to requests for touch upon the incident.
Shughart stated police instructed her they known as Humane Society and state canine warden for help, however neither was accessible on the time. She additionally stated she met an officer who stated he was the one who shot her canine, though she didn’t share his identify.
“He was crying with me. I believe it harm him as properly,” she stated. “He stated he additionally owns canines.”
She doesn’t “need to level fingers” on the police, Shughart stated, however she needs to know why the responding officers did what they did.
“This officer was not a heartless man. I’m not going to say this man’s at fault,” she instructed LebTown. “However is somebody at fault? Completely. I don’t know what their protocols are, however my canine’s not right here.
“They tased him and shot him. Nothing warranted what was achieved.”
‘A curious little pet’
Shughart stated she and her household adopted Gunner a few 12 months in the past from Davis Canine Farm, a nonprofit all-breed rescue group based mostly in Grantville. He was about 14 weeks previous on the time, she stated – largely German shepherd, she added, with some Labrador retriever and a little bit of husky thrown in.
Gunner was “a curious little pet,” she stated. “Stuffed with vitality, and if you happen to didn’t know him you’d be scared however he was the most important lovable goofball to have round.”
He was cussed, she stated, and he nudged folks along with his nostril for consideration. He shook folks’s palms and favored to play with different canines on the canine park.
“He liked to run,” Shughart stated. “He’d swim within the creek and play within the water.”
She laughed. “He would solely eat the soles out of my sneakers,” she recalled. “All of my good sneakers don’t have any soles.”
Due to his breed, he can look a bit scary, she admitted, and “if you happen to walked by my fence he would bark. He has scared folks.”
“As a lot as I’m going to overlook him … he was additionally my protector. He made me really feel protected, he made me snug.”
A consultant of Davis Canine Farm, the place Gunner was adopted, additionally posted Wednesday concerning the incident on Fb.
“This afternoon one of many Davis Canine Farm Canines alumni was shot in chilly blood in Lebanon county. The canine has no historical past of aggression and the incident was witnessed and videoed. If in case you have extra info on this incident we want to obtain it. We intend to take any motion needed to forestall this sooner or later,” the message stated partially. “If a canine is biting a catcher pole in concern and has pooped itself in concern you do not want to shoot them.”
An hour later, the rescue group amended the message, noting: “We need to be clear that our anger shouldn’t be directed at our native police departments however slightly this particular officer who has proven how little he values canines lives. We work intently with our native police departments and admire them emensely [sic]. We’ll pursue this to the fullest extent as a result of Gunner’s life mattered and he by no means deserved any of this.”
‘Traumatized and heartbroken’
The story started Wednesday morning, when somebody knocked on Shughart’s door and instructed her daughters that their canines had been working unfastened. Somebody, Shughart stated later, apparently opened their gate to let the canines out.
As her daughters began to seek for the canines, Shughart posted photographs of Gunner on-line and requested for assist discovering him.
“His identify is Gunner. He’s pleasant however does act robust,” she stated within the message. “Go at him calmly, if you happen to run at him he’ll assume it’s a sport.”
Gunner, in the meantime, had apparently wandered into the yard of Lebanon resident Kimberlee Pichardo, who stated on Fb that she known as the police when she spied the stray canine. Pichardo, who took video of the incident from inside her residence, was distraught over his loss of life.
“For those who reside in Lebanon, please I repeat PLEASEEEE DONT CALL the Lebanon police division on stray animals!” she wrote in a Wednesday afternoon submit. “I known as to assist me with this misplaced pup. And as a substitute of ready for the humane society they tazed him and than shot him known as chilly blooded no regret ! By no means will i ever name the police for assist ! I’m actually traumatized and heartbroken.”
In a later remark, Pichardo stated police “lied and instructed her that he was being aggressive in the direction of my kids and them and that was by no means the case my children had been by no means exterior. … like if he was attacking and lunging at them I might perceive however he was soo scared!!! He was actually hiding and making an attempt to get away from them no cause to shoot … he was not imply or aggressive in any respect simply scared.”
Pichardo didn’t reply to a request for remark. Nevertheless, she famous on Fb that she shared the video with the canine’s proprietor.
Video shot by Kimberlee Pichardo of Gunner’s encounter with three Lebanon metropolis cops on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Warning, some folks may discover the video disturbing to observe.
Shughart instructed LebTown that she can not carry herself to observe the video of Gunner’s loss of life. Nevertheless, she stated, different individuals who watched it instructed her Gunner was mendacity on the bottom along with his head within the noose of a protracted animal management seize pole, which was held by considered one of three cops on the scene. Gunner was wagging his tail within the video proper up-to-the-minute an officer shot him. Demise gave the impression to be instantaneous.
“He’s skilled, so if you happen to inform him down, he will get down and his tail wags as a result of he thinks he’s getting a deal with,” Shughart stated. “They stated he was making an attempt to chunk the pole. I’d chunk it, too.”
She famous that administration at Davis Canine Farm has requested for footage from the officer’s physique cam to allow them to get a greater thought of what occurred.
‘Canine was NOT harmful’
Emily Speck, who recognized herself on Fb because the foster coordinator for Davis Canine Farm, wrote Thursday morning that folks claiming Gunner was being aggressive didn’t watch the video.
“I’ve, sadly, seen the complete video and this was not the case,” she stated. “Sure the canine was scared however was under no circumstances lunging at anybody. This isn’t the primary state of affairs this officer has been concerned in and until change happens, it received’t be the final.”
Speck additionally shared a story of the occasion on Fb.
“Yesterday was a tricky day in rescue,” she wrote Thursday morning. “One among our Davis Canine Farm alumni, Gunner, was killed. Careless children opened the gate at his residence whereas strolling by and let him unfastened. He was terrified and had no clue the right way to get residence. He was later present in a yard the place police had been known as and a sequence of unlucky occasions occurred which resulted in Gunner being shot.
“Gunner was a beloved member of the family who didn’t need to have his life finish this fashion. Now could be the time for change to occur; now could be the time for conversations available. Training is so extremely necessary in these conditions.
“Training for kids – why it’s so past essential to respect different folks’s property and belongings. I’m certain they didn’t intend for this to occur nonetheless due to their careless joke, a life was ended. Have these conversations along with your children, train them respect of residing creatures of every kind.
“Training for the police division – It is a time the place they will get the coaching they want. Coaching in animal conduct, coaching on what different precautions will be achieved to calm the canine down or restrain them safely. At all times ensuring there’s somebody who’s extra educated accessible, whether or not it’s the humane society, a K9 officer, animal management. The excuse of ‘everybody was off’ is unacceptable. What in case your youngster was in a nasty state of affairs and the entire hospital workers had been ‘off’.
“Reminder to all pet house owners: Love your canine like every day might be their final since you by no means know what tomorrow holds. This was an extremely unlucky state of affairs that nobody may see coming. It’s the most possible heartbreak one may endure. Throw the ball, swim within the creek, and go for that stroll.”
Gracie Swisher, who additionally recognized herself as a Davis Canine Farm worker, added: “We will probably be doing all the pieces to assist the proprietor. This canine was NOT harmful.”
‘Why did you do that?’
“I don’t need to level fingers, however I need to know why. Why did you do that?” Shughart requested. “He was wagging his tail on the finish. He was not aggressive. For those who had him subdued, why did you shoot him within the head?”
Police instructed her that their had been kids within the yard who had been at risk from the canine, Shughart stated. Pichardo stated the one kids current had been in the home together with her.
“I’m getting so many conflicting tales,” Shughart stated. “I need the cop’s physique cam.”
“If he lunged at one of many cops, I’d say the capturing was justified 100%,” she added. “I’m not making an attempt to bash the police. I do know they’ve a job to do. However do I believe this was dealt with the right means? No.”
Gunner was considered one of two canines in Shughart’s household. The opposite, Riker, was additionally a Davis Canine Farm rescue.
Riker, Shughart stated, “is good and lovable. He’ll lick your face off.” Like Gunner, he’s a German shepherd combine.
“We had been simply going to foster him, however he and Gunner took to one another, I couldn’t do away with him,” she stated. “He was Gunner’s pal.”
Gunner and Riker
Gunner and Riker
On Fb, Shughart has been overwhelmed with messages of assist for her loss, in addition to anger and frustration towards the police dealing with of the incident.
One buddy wrote to Shughart on Wednesday and requested if she wanted something.
“I would like my canine again,” she replied.
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