A Michigan family is grieving the loss of their fur baby, Rocko. The dog was shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy from St. Clair County. Body camera footage captured the horrific incident.
Sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots family dog
According to FOX 2, on Sept. 12, a skunk sprayed Rocko and a Pit Bull named Charlotte. Then, the dogs escaped their yard in downtown Algonac. Dog mom Maggie Meldrum couldn’t find the pups. A neighbor called 911.
Usually, animal control would handle a lost dog case. In this instance, animal control was attending to another call. So, a sheriff’s deputy responded instead.
“We’re not just going to ignore that and find out later that these dogs bit somebody, or attacked somebody,” St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King said.
The deputy found the dogs a couple of blocks away from their home. He tried to lure the dogs into his squad car with food.
Dog mom and authorities disagree on shooting incident
At this point in the story, perspectives differ wildly.
According to King, “the dog growls and lunges at the deputy so the deputy backs up and withdraws his weapon, and the animal does it again growling and showing his teeth and lunging at the deputy.”
He continued: “At that point unfortunately, the deputy felt he had no other action he could take other than get bit or attacked.”
Meldrum has another take on the incident.
“I don’t believe he was being charged,” she said. “He had one plate of food for two dogs, and he was calling them to him.”
However, an internal review of the deputy’s behavior concluded that he didn’t violate any policies. In fact, both body camera footage and the sheriff both support the assertion that the deputy was distraught over the shooting.
“He was upset, he didn’t come to work that day to have to destroy an animal,” the sheriff said.
Meldrum isn’t buying it. “I think that he should be reprimanded so this doesn’t happen to another dog,” she said.
Public outcry to shooting of family dog
People are now calling out the deputy for his actions. Some are even sending death threats to him.
“Even if you don’t agree with how he handled it, a reaction like threatening people or telling people to kill themselves, I don’t understand what that kind of mindset comes from,” King said.
According to the sheriff, Meldrum has not reached out to his office to discuss the incident. Instead, the dog mom planned a rally on Saturday in Algonac to honor Rocko.
“He was my best friend,” she said. “I lost my fiancé, and he got me through his death. He was just my best friend.”