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Report: Dog shot by Rock Island County deputy ‘lunged’ and made ‘attempt to bite’

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Documents provided by the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department show that the case involving a dog shot and killed in East Moline is now closed.

On June 16, 2014, a deputy responded to reports of two Rottweilers running at large.

The deputy was able to get one dog into his squad car, but eventually shot the other. That dog was later put down at the Rock Island County Animal Shelter.

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Tuesday, News 8 received an incident report and 911 calls from the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department that provide the deputy's side of the story.

Two separate calls were made to 911 operators about the Rottweilers running loose shortly after 6 a.m. on June 16th.

The first caller said she was concerned about the unknown dogs who had a minor encounter with her own dog, leashed in the front yard.

"This is like the fourth dog in a month that I've had running loose through my yard from these people over here. And these, I'm worried about," she said. "I want something done about these dogs. I can't leave for work."

The second caller expressed similar worries about 20 minutes later.

"There's two big dogs in my neighbor's yard, and they're trying to knock over the cage where he's got rabbits, and they're trying to eat them. They're jumping, and I'm afraid to approach them," she said. "There's a lot of kids that walk by here to go to school."

That's when a Rock Island County Sheriff's deputy found the Rottweilers on 172nd Street in East Moline.

After corralling the first, he writes in the report:

"The Rottweiler attempted to get into the rabbit pen several times by clawing at the pen and continued to run around the pen snapping at the rabbit inside with its mouth. I tried to gain control of the Rottweiler; however, the Rottweiler lunged at me once in an attempt to bite me while it ran around the pen agitated.," the deputy's statement said.

The deputy then contacted his superior by radio, who gave authorization to put the Rottweiler down.

Neighbor Shelby Gosa said she petted both of the dogs, and that neither acted aggressively while she was outside. She ran out of the house after hearing a gunshot and began filming the aftermath, saying she was confused and upset.

"I immediately assumed it had bit the officer, but he told me that it didn’t, and I was really, really confused as to why this officer would think that shooting a dog is a good idea," said Gosa.

Since then, the owners of the dog, known as Fisher, have spoken out, calling the deputy's actions cruel and out of line. This past weekend, a rally was held in support of Fisher outside the sheriff's department.

“Pets are more than just a pet, they are part of people’s family and deserve a better chance than just being shot for no reason," said owner Kitty Smith.

The Rottweilers' owner was issued a citation for a dog running at large.

Documents show that the case status is now 'closed.'


  • Dayna

    “I immediately assumed it had bit the officer, but he told me that it didn’t, and I was really, really confused as to why this officer would think that shooting a dog is a good idea,” said Gosa.

    I am so sick of these people. Hey lady, it’s a very good idea not to let a very large, loose, agitated dog bite you because you might end up in the hospital. And if the stupid owners cared about their pets like “family” as they claim, why were they letting them roam? I would never let my kids do that. Would these people be crying and mobilizing all the hatred if their precious “family” member had gotten run over by a car? I doubt it.

    • pammys25

      Perfectly said Dayna!! People need to be accountable for their actions, or lack of actions. Why isn’t Shelby mad at the owner for not confining their dog and putting the officer at risk. If he was ‘so called- gun happy’.. he would’ve shot both dogs. Not to mention he called in and received approval (which shouldn’t be necessary- but with comments like that we know why!)

    • rottweiler luv

      Not sure if you know this or not, but dogs do escape sometimes. You seriously sound bitter and vile. That is my opinion. Enjoy!

    • Mary Jo Bradley

      That is not the point, the officer had no reason to kill this dog, he should of called animal control. The dog was no threat to anyone, but officers do lie so they don’t get in trouble. Plus if you followed the story….the gun shot to the head did not kill the dog, they had him euthanized with out the consent of the owner, which is against the law. And I feel for your kids, since they have a parent with no compassion.

    • XIII

      So wait, does that mean even if you’ve taken precautions like having a fenced-in yard and one of your children snuck out you’d be totally fine with an officer killing your child? I’m not siding with anyone here because I wasn’t there, but your logic is pretty fucked. Also, police officers carry several lines of defense that should be exhausted before using a firearm except for in situations when absolutely necessary. Cops carry batons, mace/pepper spray and usually a stun gun or tazer of some sort. I would think one of those would be used before just taking a life as a precautionary measure. You’ve got to ask yourself how long before this becomes common practice with any living being including humans if we continue accepting it with pets.

    • Christopher F Cheney

      Just cause an officer reports the dog lunge does not make it true or a fact. people made a quick judgment base of the breed and nothing more. who really keeps rabbits outside? i agree people shouldn’t allow there dog to roam but believing a police officer word is a joke now. if the dog was such a threat why was someone able to pet the dog without getting bite???

  • Elliott Whitlow

    So do we have any witnesses to corroborate the officer’s story? Or do we just take his word as gospel? when the only story is the officer’s of course it will be closed in his favor.

    I’m not saying the officer DID do anything wrong, I AM saying that I’d like a little independent information to show he didn’t.

    • Christopher F Cheney

      Elliott officer never lie and are innocence and never commit crimes… never do anything wrong there perfect humans…. i do not buy officer word for fact nor do i believe these other people they just base of the breed and nothing more. officer word is not a fact of what happen and its not evinced

  • Responsible pet owner

    No threat to anyone? Obviously it was to the two plus people who called to report it and to the terrified pet rabbit it was trying to kill, Be a responsible pet owner end of story, Hopefully no one needed the assistance of the officer while he was out chasing someone dogs. A dog getting loose maybe, both multiple times as reported even before this incident doubt it.

  • Did the right thing

    Elliott I believe your witness were the ones trapped in their houses calling 911 due to the aggressive behavior of the dogs. Which is why the officer was there to begin with refer to the reports and 911 recordings for your “independent information”. By the way than you to the officer for responding quickly and willing to be injured and ridiculed to protect other pets, people and children and property in that neighborhood.

  • Gailny

    The dog lunged at the officer? I wonder why. Maybe it’s because he was trying to grab it around it’s neck with the rope or maybe dogs just have a**hole radar
    So sick of coward cops on power trips and killing innocent dogs. They should be mandated to restrain only and call the pound

    • Johnny

      Call the pound? “the pound” doesn’t deal with aggressive dogs. They have police officers (or animal control when applicable) capture the dogs then the dogs are put down. If the animal control officer saw the dog being aggressive to a person or another pet while not being on a leash the dog would be ceased and put down. If they could not have captured the dog (like in this instance) they would call a police officer to come and put the dog down on sight if necessary. So, you’re uneducated suggestion would lead to the same conclusion.

      • Christopher F Cheney

        Just cause a dog may be aggressive has nothing to do with people it has to do with injuries it has to do with the tempure and how they treated putting a dog down without knowing the reason they are aggersived is down right cruel and wrong. a dog will and can defend itself from abuse… a dog may be injuried and act out. a dog may protect its buddy or babies. its normal behavior and your supporting this non-sense? just cause people say its aggersive does not mean it was. people said a pitbull was aggersived and it wasn’t

    • XIII

      Why not? It was okay for Dayna to do that. Some people can’t have kids. Some people see their pets as part of their family or their children. Don’t discount someone else’s feelings just because you take those things and those lives for granted. Maybe you are the one who is foolish with ill consideration for others and self absorption. Pass your judgment elsewhere.

    • XIII

      Also, check your typing and learn how to properly reply to a comment so you don’t have to type my name next time.

    • SFL

      Please don’t pretend humans are more valuable than any other species on the planet. It’s arrogant, and it shows disrespect for all of the earth’s creatures, whose desire to live is no less than ours.

  • Francis Josephe

    Cannot blame the dog , things happen sometimes pets escape ,firecracker, senile grandpa opening the gate , children forgetting to shut the gate… so on and so forth. We spend thousands of dollars training our police force … so much technology but no even given the basic pet handling training, How in the world are they supposed to handle hardcore criminals if they cannot even handle pets??? well if you cannot ,call someone capable.. call the local animal shelter/ control. Power also comes with a commonsense tag attached to it. Police need to learn basic animal handling, they can go a step further and do it themselves if they have a K-9 squad , the handler I am pretty sure is a very capable man.
    The thing is if you cannot give a life then do not take it because the bad karma befalls the ‘doer’ and passes it on to the family for generations, think look around you cancer and all the ills striking you, maybe you did not do anything but surely your grandparents or someone before did!!. Only the grand one can take away life as he gives it we are here to nurture it, till our slate is clean !!!

    so it is written so it shall be done. May your soul rest in peace doggy till you meet the Grand Architect, and may your parents find peace.
    A doggy or a child is the same we get it so we are always responsible.

  • Vaughn Foster

    The police are trained liars, they take classes in interrogation techniques that include lying to suspects in order to gain confession. I have seen police handle angry dogs without shooting them many times, if the animal is dangerous you call animal control! As far as the callers being the witnesses, the one caller said she had just been outside petting Fischer….so much for the vision of a mad angry dog….more like a low cowardly cop!

  • Targetpractice

    If that was one of my dogs there would be a an officer down. If its OK to shoot a dog because its aggressive, then I can start shooting the little turds called kids that run around my neighborhood.

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