It seems like a never-ending trend. Last week, a police shot another dog at a family home in Cleveland. This time it was a Labrador Retriever who was securely tied with a leash. The dog posed no real threat at all!
On June 12, Tyler Muzzi noticed a stranger walking back and forth outside his neighbor’s home. He alerted the homeowner, Bryant Steele, who then called the Cleveland police. The police arrived within minutes and arrested the man.
A few minutes later, Muzzi said he was surprised to hear gunshots and went out to see what had happened.
“At first, I thought I had heard only two shots, but there were actually three that had been fired,” said Muzzi. “I thought they had shot the man in custody or something.”
A police officer told Muzzi that his Labrador had been shot. He rushed to his backyard to find his dog Miller injured, while the officers and the investigator who shot the dog looked on silently, he said.
Miller had been tied with a leash before the police arrived on scene.
Muzzi quickly wrapped the Lab in towels and called the Cleveland Pet Clinic while the police called animal control to help Muzzi transport his dog to the vet.
The vets found that Miller’s spine had been severed in two places. Miller passed away.
According to Muzzi, the police officer who shot the Labrador apologized and told him that he felt threatened and didn’t see the leash. But Cleveland Police Chief Charles Bingham later told Muzzi and his wife Bethany that the investigator saw the leash but had the right to shoot the dog since he felt threatened.
The police department offered to pay for Miller’s vet bill and buy another dog for his family.
“That was like a slap in the face,” said Muzzi.
He said that Miller was a very friendly dog and was never aggressive toward strangers.
According to a The Bolivar Commercial report, the investigator who shot the dog is currently on administrative leave.
Hearing about Miller’s story, a New York man named Nick Barone created a Facebook page titled “Justice 4 Miller Muzzi” to show support for the dog and the family. The page now has nearly 6,000 likes since it was created last weekend.
Barone is a national director for “Freeze Don’t Shoot,” an online group that creates Facebook support pages for families whose dogs are shot by police.
“You have no idea how many dogs are shot daily by police,” said Barone, “There was just a case in New Jersey where a police officer showed up at the wrong house and shot someone’s German Shepherd. We’re trying to get the word out and increase public awareness and get support.”
Source: Clarion Ledger