A police officer in Regina, Saskatchewan, reportedly shot a dog at a park because he believed it was “assuming an aggressive posture." The incident occurred on Wednesday while a police canine unit was prepping for a training session in a ball diamond, CBC News reports.
The dog’s owner said that “Missty” probably just wanted to play, though.
"Missty is so amazing and loving, and loves everyone, and just wants to play. Of course, she was going to come towards you; she has a ball she wants you to throw for her," Missty’s owner, Lance Murphy, told CBC.
Murphy described Missty, a American Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, as “basically a therapy dog” to him. She reportedly had a ball in her mouth at the time of the shooting.
Murphy was playing with his two dogs, throwing a ball around for them when the incident occurred.
"Missty, during the time she was coming back noticed the officer and proceeded to go towards him with her ball in her mouth," the statement said.
"I immediately started yelling "don't shoot my dog,' 'stop shooting my dog.' He fired off two rounds at her at least, and it wasn't immediately back-to-back… He had a pause in the shots,” Murphy explained.
Missty survived the shooting. "I was crying and begging the vet to take her and save her life,” Murphy said. A vet removed the bullet from Missty’s body. She also reportedly suffered a broken shoulder.
Corey Zaharuk, acting deputy chief for Regina Police Service, told reporters on Thursday that the cop involved in the incident was walking toward Murphy to ask him to leave the area or put his dogs on leash. Zaharuk described this cop as an "experienced member of our canine unit who has handled and trained dogs for a number of years.” He said the cop anticipated that the dog might attack him.
Zaharuk claimed the cop involved in the incident fired two bullets at the ground, and one hit Missty.
Police are still investigating the incident, including if the use of force on Missty was appropriate. The cop involved reportedly has not been put on leave nor had duties changed thus far.
A GoFundMe appears to have been set up to raise money for Missty’s vet bills. It describes her as “a sweet natured, playful pup who is loved beyond measure by her family.”