Dog owners speak out after deputy shot their pet

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The owners of a dog shot to death by a Rock Island County Sheriff's deputy say the officer's action was out of line and cruel.

"We really wish they'd have another way to get a dog under control rather than putting a bullet in it," said the dog's owner, Kitty Smith.

"We're extremely hurt, he's a family pet, he never caused anybody harm. It's just wrong," she said.

Fisher was an 80-pound rottweiler who was shot by the deputy after a call over two dogs on the loose in rural East Moline. The caller said the dogs were attacking a rabbit hutch.

His owners say Fisher was not mean. The deputy told higher-ups that the dog became aggressive while he was trying to corral him into his squad car.

The Smiths say they don't understand why Animal Control wasn't called to handle the situation.

"They let my dog lay there and bleed to death, instead of putting it out of his misery. Completely inhumane and cruel. It's not possible he was aggressive. The owners of the home were playing with my dog, they were petting him. The cops just didn't take the time to get him," Smith said.

But Capt. Gerry Bustos said the deputy said the dog became aggressive, and the deputy believed he was in real or perceived danger. Bustos said Animal Control wasn't on duty at the time because it was early in the morning.

Capt. Bustos said there is an internal investigation into a portion of the shooting.

"We are doing an administrative review to find out why the animal wasn't put down earlier than it was after the initial shot," Bustos said.


  • Katie Wagan

    If a local citizen would have done this, they would have been arrested. Must be nice to be a cop and get away with Murder….literally!!

    Captain Gerry Bustos – You won’t do anything about this. That is obvious, per your statement above.

    • Stephanie

      I agree Katie…they always say they’ll do an investigation but it always ends up nobody pays for what they do unless your the criminal….they are kidding anyone

  • Zieke

    I think action needs to be taken. It’s obvious this officer either did not have proper training on how to handle animals, or he was just plain lazy, and used his gun to offset his inabilities. He shot someone’s pet, which should be dealt with very seriously.

    • jrandl

      Don’t tasers work on dogs, Most of the time just the sound of electricity will scare any animal off.

  • Voice of Reason

    Curious if the department told him not to take second shot because he was being taped by the 911 caller.

  • patti

    This video makes me sick. Does this officer own a dog?? He is lieing about this dog becoming aggressive. Hes trying to cover his tracks. once a liar always a liar. He needs to have his badge pulled . The dog probably barked at him and in his eyes that was becoming aggressive. That poor dog laid there and suffered. That was somebodies family member. Im sure he has no remorse For shooting that poor dog. His only remorse is about the fact that he might lose his job. Which i hope he does. Mayor please address this matter with the right decision. FIRED!!!!

  • diana

    Why do cops think they have the right to make any decision without more evidence or second opinion.. (as in animal control )…cops think they are untouchable..

  • Katie Wagan

    I agree with Steve Lynn. In any other case in the news, the names are listed. When that man pulled the dog on his scooter, his name was plastered all over the news. Why not name this officer? This should be public knowledge. Why are we covering up for this officer?
    Unfortunately cops are untouchable, because they know nothing will be done to them. The Captain shows absolutely no remorse in his statements to the news. We won’t hear that this officer lost his job over this or was even reprimanded. Even though he should be. The public doesn’t have any say anymore. We’re suppose to pay dues and be quiet. I hope the county proves me wrong and does something about this. It’s obvious that people are upset over it. What is wrong with this world? People treating animals so poorly. Are there that many heartless people in this world?

    Voice of Reason (a.k.a. – officer who shot the dog or relation to) – Obviously no one cares about your ideas. Haven’t you noticed all other messages are in consideration for the dog and owners? All you do is defend the cop who did this. You don’t have a defense!! What was done, was cruel and terrible. Nothing you say can justify the actions of an officer!!

    I will continue to pray every night, for Fisher and the justice to his murderer!!

  • mikey

    i’ll give the officer the benefit of the doubt for now. perhaps all of you who have judged him should be on call and volunteer to go handle situations like this since you are all experts on being confronted by large aggressive dogs.

    • Katie Wagan

      Mikey – In my profession, I deal with stray dogs every day. I have dealt with several aggressive dogs. There are dogs I was never able to pet. You find other ways of dealing with it. Some options would have been to have back-up come help or maybe using the taser, rather than a gun. What would the officer had done, if it was a human? I’m guessing a gun would not have been the first option. But since it’s just a dog, obviously their life is of no value, so it’s just easier to use a gun.

      On the news, it looked like the dog was in the middle of the yard when he was shot (not near the rabbit cages) and then the officer was pulling the dog on a collar, after being shot and in pain. No one can tell me what the officer did was ethical in any way. If he’s scared of dogs, he should have tried to distract the dog, until another officer got there. A gun isn’t always the answer. Only in severe cases. Not in a case where it wants to play with the rabbits.

    • Michael Smith

      I deal with dogs on their property every single day. I am a driver for FedEx. I am a stranger on THEIR PROPERTY. Never once have I needed even pepper spray. Let alone thought I needed to shot a dog. This officer is an untrained coward who murdered a family pet for no real reason.

  • cowpusher

    In our county, it’s the policy of the Sherri ff to shoot any dog that acts aggressive. A deputy shot our Great Dane one morning because she tried to move him away from the house when he came to the door. She did not bite, only barked. 15 minuted later another deputy shot a dog in another part of the county. These people need to learn how to manage dogs without killing them. We live in the country and keep a large dog for security as the response time out there runs from 45 minutes to several hours.

  • jeff greenier

    something NO-one is saying here is .. dont officers carry Pepper Spray & or a Tazer ( That ALL COPS love to abuse on ppl) or even a Baton ???? … apperently this cop is a COWARD… & immediately went for his Pistol… 😡

    • jrandl

      Most of the time you dont even have to touch an animal with the Tazer, just the noise of the electricity itself will scare them off. I just accidentally found that out with my cats and dogs They saw and heard it and they were gone..I wouldn’t even touch an animal with a Tazer unless its in self defense I still dont know if a tazer will stop a attacking dog or not.

  • Cheyanne Brown

    I knew these people. I have since forever. Fisher was the sweetest thing. Justice needs to be served against the officer. I feel horrible for this family. They had 3 boys, Fisher was super close to the youngest. This is just sicking. To watch this video. Wow.

  • Daisy Dreams

    Katie. Really? I doubt the rabbits thought two seventy pound rotweillers were just going to play with them. I am sure that all of you would certainly be able to reason with a dog with one of the strongest bite strength of all breeds. Is there not a leash law? Where were the owners?? Don’t they have a responsibility to keep their dogs contained? If any dog or dogs were threatening my livestock and I felt even the remotest possibility of an attack on my person the dog goes. Simple. These owners are negligent legally and morally.

    • Melanie Johnson

      Read the original story. The witness account tells a different story. The witness even asked the officer if the dog bit him, to which he replied “no, he was going after the rabbits again.” He changed his story later and said the dog was aggressive towards him.

  • Karen Gramza

    What’s the cops name? That’s what we have to watch, the good ole boys will just try to do whatever they want, so they have to be forced to press charges on these worthless sampling of the police.Apparently they need to go to school to learn how to deal with animals, without just pulling the weapon & killing them, if they come to my house & shoot my dog, they will definitely experience return fire!!

  • Doug Bruner

    As a grown man … I sit in tears over this tragedy …. This is happening more and more across this nation, and I urge all fellow citizens to join Advocate groups, rather thru facebook or any means, to help get not only National Attention to bring this Cop to some type of Justice, but to also push in the fight in creating new laws like Texas and the Candy’s Law… These officers killing our family members has to stop period, there are plenty of non lethal ways to handle these situations. As for the cop who killed a dog merely barking at Rabbits in cages … who has no logical thoughts, i prefer that you don’t protect and serve this community, you don’t deserve that honor!

  • Stephanie

    A neighbor was watching and said that the dog WAS NOT being aggressive..this was unjust and should not have happened…the pain that this officer has caused this family has pissed off a lot of people…they need training in dog control when animal control isn’t open…I feel bad for Kitty and her family…this was WRONG

  • Jack

    I am beginning to believe that trigger happy and insane cops are shooting dogs because they can get away with it- like the POS Captain on this force- a do nothing taxpayer parasite-
    They can’t shoot people without more scrutiny and possible loss of their freedom to be killers- so they kill dogs.

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