Deputy's shooting of dog fires up readers
[Lee Ann Hutts, 32, of St. Petersburg grieves for her dog Smoke, a chow-pit bull mix. Edmund D. Fountain]
A St. Petersburg Times story about a Pinellas County Sheriffs deputy shooting a barking dog in the head prompted outrage from tamapbay.com readers.
More than 150 tampabay.com readers posted comments on the story, most angry about the deputy's actions, others upset that a veterinarian was charging $3,000 for emergency surgery -- the owner couldn't afford it, and the dog died soonafter.
Only the most recent 35 comments can be viewed on the story, so here's a sampling of some of the comments no longer appearing:
Susan of Tampa: "I am so sorry for your loss. That hot headed officer had no right to pull a gun on your dog. If he felt threatened, then why didn't he just shut the front door and ask you to come outside? At the very least, use a taser, not a gun."
Mark of St. Pete: " Who would shoot a dog before it even bit them?"
Holiday resident: "Yup....Cops....Once again, over-reacting to every situation like everyone/animal is a freakin' criminal...Just because you have authority over people, doesn't mean you have to use it to it's fullest potential."
PoliceState of Tampa: "I guess the dog owner is lucky she didn't make any noise or the deputy would have killed her too."
Lin of St. Petersburg: "Okay, the officer goes to the wrong door and instead of leaving he pulls out his gun and shoots and kills a dog?This sounds more like something that Israeli troops would do in Gaza than something one expects to hear about with the Pinellas Sheriff."
CG of TampaBay: " It is deplorable that he would shoot the dog. And then to not even bother to check up on it? Shameful overreaction."
Brandy of Madeira Beach: "I think that the officer should be reprimaded. You don't pull out a firearm unless your life is threatened. It doesn't seem to be the case here. It is a discrase that an apology has never even been offered."
Kay of St. Pete: "People have every right to have an animal in their home. The officer had the option to leave if he was scared-he could have asked her to step outside even. jail him for public discharge of weapon and animal cruelty at the least."
Kim of Safety Harbor: "Hutts should have secured her dog as the Deputy told her to. Securing the dog was for both the Deputy's safety and the dog's safety. Had she secured it, her dog would still be alive. Deputies aren't psychic & don't know the history of the dog."
William of Largo: "What in the world? A deputy shoots a dog in a mobile home park, then leaves? There's a weapons discharge and no supervisor investigates it? What in the world is wrong here? LOTS! Fire the deputy!"
Marc of Spring Hill: "This story is disgusting. Not because of the dog dying, but because of the obvious bias against the police officer. A non-agressive Pit Bull? There is no such thing! An officer was attacked, and they are worried about a dog. Not a HUMAN, a DOG!"
Is your view represented here? Read the story, then share your reaction.