A police officer in DeKalb County, Georgia, has resigned after shooting a dog earlier this month.
Officer David Pitts, a 7-year-veteran of the force, shot the 9-year-old German Shepherd, named Doctor, while responding to a tripped burglary alarm at a house July 24.
In his report, Pitts wrote that Doctor had approached him aggressively, "showing teeth and growling," which prompted him to shoot the pet twice in the face, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
At the time of the incident, Doctor had been let out by owner Timothy Theall, who was walking him around the house when the unleashed dog encountered the cop.
Doctor survived his injuries, but his owners are outraged by the shooting and what followed. They claim that Pitts shot the dog, yet refused to let the family drive the dog to the vet, citing police procedure.
However, according to DeKalb County Police Chief Jim Conroy, no such procedure exists. He told WGCL that if a human had been shot by an officer, the scene would have been secured and EMS dispatched. However, he said that the department "[does] not have a policy that addresses how to treat an animal" that has been shot.
Conroy told WXIA that although he was surprised by Pitts' actions, he did not ask for his resignation. Pitts' case is being investigated by internal affairs.
"This is the first time in my career that we've encountered a problem with the officer preventing an animal from getting medical treatment," Conroy told the station.
Conroy said that officers will receive further training in how to deal appropriately with aggressive pets.
Doctor's owners have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their pet's medical expenses. At time of writing, more than $12,000 had been raised.
On the page, Theall's wife, Melissa Brewer, said that the incident was a result of "bad timing," but that she felt "harassed" by officer Pitts.
Theall told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Doctor, who he raised from a pup, is a people lover.
“I take him everywhere. I take him to parties. I take him to the park all the time. He is very socialized,” he said.
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