Perinton, N.Y. - The Monroe County Sheriff promises a full investigation into a weekend shooting that killed a Perinton man’s dog.
“We’re looking into every bit of this situation to try to find out exactly what occurred,” says Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn.
It all began with a complaint involving a car parked on the sidewalk in front of a house on Whitney Road. Deputies responding walked up the driveway at about 11:30 Friday night.
That’s when the sheriff says the dog, a pit bull, came running out from under a partially open overhead garage door.
“The dog came running at a pretty good clip. Both deputies shot a total of four shots,” says O’Flynn.
At least two shots struck the dog, one on the side of the face, the other higher up and exiting the back of the dog’s head.
“I heard banging, I didn’t know they were gun shots,” says Gary Brockler who owns the dog and was inside the house at the time of the incident. He says when he stepped outside he saw the dog lying on the ground.
“I just kept saying please don’t tell me you shot my dog.”
Some of the shots struck the garage door. Brockler says another struck his neighbor’s house. “My neighbors have children,” he says questioning both safety and the use of force.
The sheriff has launched an internal investigation but says deputies are trained to treat an aggressive dog as an “edge weapon, ”which he explains is akin to someone charging an officer with a knife.
“If someone’s coming at you with a knife you don’t use a billy club,” he says. “You’re authorized by the penal code to use deadly physical force.”
“That dog was never aggressive,” says Brockler.
Brockler has started a Facebook page for his dog, Diablo. More than 4,800 people have signed a petition calling out officers for discriminating against the pit bull breed.
Another animal rights organization is calling for a rally outside the Monroe County Jail at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Brockler has hired an attorney and says he wants the officer involved to “lose his badge.”
“I’m going to do everything I can until I get justice. I can’t bring my dog back but I can’t let this happen to anyone else,” he says.
Police have responded to this address about 15 times over the last 12 years says O’Flynn. Only two of those calls involved dog complaints but he could not elaborate.
Sheriff O’Flynn says the investigation should be completed this week.