Owner says police wouldn't help dog they shot

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- A DeKalb County man claims police shot his dog and then wouldn't let him try to save the canine's life.

"No steps were taken by DeKalb police whatsoever to try to save my dog's life," Tim Theall told 11 Alive on Friday.

Theall said he can almost understand why a startled DeKalb County police officer shot Doctor, his 9-year-old German Shepherd, Thursday evening, but not why the officer wouldn't let him get the dog treated for over an hour.

Theall said he let the dog out of a back yard fence around 7 p.m. and it ran around the house to the front yard before he could follow it.

"And before I turned the corner of the house, I heard two shots; I heard a cop go, 'Holy [expletive],'" Theall said.

Responding to a false home alarm, the officer shot the dog through the jaw as they surprised each other in the front yard.

"The dog was still alive, clearly bleeding like crazy and the police officer blocked my exit," Theall said.

Theall claimed the officer twice used his patrol car to keep him from taking the dog to a veterinary hospital in his own car.

"Finally he convinced me that I would be thrown in jail if I didn't just stay where I was," the dog owner said.

After other officers, including a sergeant, arrived and after an hour had passed, Theall said he was finally allowed to take his dog to the emergency vet, where it's expected to recover, but with very expensive medical bills. His wife set up a gofundme account for donations to help pay for the dog's care and the couple is amazed at the huge response.

"It really does restore some faith in humanity, really; we've got friends out there," he added.

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Meanwhile DeKalb County Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Fore told 11Alive the incident is under investigation, like any shooting. He said their officers are trained to preserve evidence at a shooting scene, but he understands the owner's concern over the dog not being treated immediately.

Fore added that the incident will be studied and that they "may learn from it" and handle similar situations differently in the future.


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