Dalhart police investigating shooting death of dog

Dalhart police investigating shooting death of dog

DALHART, Texas - A Dalhart police officer shoots and kills a family dog after responding to an animal control call.

Witnesses and police are telling two different stories regarding the events prior to the shooting.

Crystal Woods and her family walk us through the process of how a lost dog ended up dead following a call to Dalhart Police.

Woods says she came home to find her children playing with this Australian Shepherd and Blue Healer mix.

She says she wanted to find the owner and called animal control, only to find out the officer was on vacation.

Dalhart PD is considered the next responder in the absence of animal control.

"We probably take an average of 25 animal control complaints a week," Dalhart Police Chief Gary Sinclair said.

However, this call ended in the death of a beloved family pet named Smokey.

"An officer responded to the call and took custody of the animal," Sinclair said. "While attempting to place the dog in the officers vehicle, the dog resisted and bit the officer on the hand resulting in the unfortunate and immediate destruction of the dog by the officer."

Woods tells a different story.

"The officer had the dog in the car because he went around and told other neighbors to put their dogs up and came back to tell me to put my dog up," she said. "The only thing I can say is that I did see the dog in his patrol car."

Woods suggests the officer drove off with the dog and shot him minutes later in an alley.

Dalhart PD denies those allegations, saying the officer fired three rounds after being bitten while trying to lift the dog into the patrol car.

The department even showed us incident statements regarding injuries to the officers hand.

A police internal and external investigation is now underway to make sure proper procedures were followed.

NewsChannel 10 worked on this story through a partnership with the Dalhart Texan.