Officer and family have differing stories over shot dog - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officer and family have differing stories over shot dog

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis family is irate after a police officer shot their dog Thursday.  But the police department says the officer was trying to protect a child.

Quawan Branch, 9, described the attack by Memphis Police on his 1-year-old Labrador, named Pepper.

"The police officer, he just came up and started shooting at my dog," he said.  

According to the Memphis Police Department, an officer was flagged down on Spottswood Ave. regarding a loose dog trying to attack a child.

"I didn't see anyone flag him down.  They must have done it a street over or whatever, but I know my dog hadn't been outside a good three minutes," said owner Michelle Hunter.

Investigators said the dog lunged at the child and the officer fired a shot striking the dog.

"I guess he just took it upon himself to think that my dog was attacking his own owner, which she wasn't.  They were playing.  By her being a Labrador, that's what Labraders do," said Hunter.

Several children said they were running on a sidewalk, along with the dog, when out of nowhere the officer showed up and told the dog to stop. 

The children said the dog obeyed the officer's order; however the officer still pulled out his gun and shot the dog. 

At that point, the dog supposedly took off and ran around the corner to the other side of a church. Witnesses say the officer started chasing the dog and fired a second shot.

"He should've asked, 'What's going on.  Is this dog trying to attack?'  Ask questions before you just act out," said Michelle Hunter.

The dog has been taken to an animal hospital where she will have to undergo surgery. Neither the child nor the officer were injured.

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