Deputies shoot and kill family's dog
LEE COUNTY – A Lehigh Acres neighborhood is up in arms tonight after deputies shoot and kill a family's beloved dog. They say he was harmless and officers had no right to pull the trigger but deputies say the shooting was justified. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is here now with the details
Dogie was a 5-year old yellow lab. Loved not only by his family but the entire neighborhood adored him. Neighbor Diana Thompson says Dogie and her Chihuahua were inseparable.
Diana Thompson: "This was Dogie's best friend; they ran together they played together."
Another neighbor recalls the day Dogie was shot.
April Caswell: "When I heard the gunshots and ran over there I was like ‘Oh my goodness!’ He was just covered in blood and it was horrible."
On May 23rd Dogie’s owner, Christina Waggoner, faced a devastating tragedy when a deputy shot Dogie in the face.
Christina Waggoner: "A family member is dead, my dog's gone and there's nothing I can do about it."
Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office went to Waggoner's home, attempting to locate her boyfriend's ex-wife. Deputies say the ex-wife was wanted on a felony warrant and although Waggoner's boyfriend divorced her 4 years ago, the ex had listed the couple's address as an emergency contact.
Waggoner says when 4 deputies arrived 2 of them went to the back of her house. That's when Dogie jumped through a screen on the back porch and barked at deputies. According to the Sheriff's Office, Dogie began chasing a deputy and appeared vicious.
Lieutenant Larry King: "The officer felt threatened, the dog was bearing its teeth, it was growling, it was charging at him even though he was trying to flee and he felt he had no other recourse but to shoot the dog."
But neighbors say Dogie never bit anyone and they don't believe he posed any threat to the officers.
Diana Thompson: "For them to say that he actually showed his teeth and chased them, I'm not buying it he's never done that."
After Dogie was shot, Waggoner rushed him to an animal hospital in Naples for surgery. On June 3rd that's where Dogie finally died.
Christina Waggoner: "I feel so bad about bringing him there and him dying.”
Waggoner’s 3-year old Son: "You okay mommy?”
Christina Waggoner: "Yeah, I'm okay baby.”
The Sheriff's Office says Dogie was unrestrained and the shooting was justified. Waggoner's vet bill is $3,000 dollars and at this point the Sheriff's Office is reviewing this case to determine if they're responsible for paying it.