Tuesday, February 23, 2016
DERIDDER LA - 2 PIT BULLS THAT BELONGED TO THE OWNER OF A TRACTOR SUPPLY STORE WERE ALLOWED TO RUN LOOSE AND AGGRESSIVELY CHARGED AT A BICYCLIST - ANIMAL CONTROL TRIED TO CONTAIN THEM AND ENDED UP SHOOTING THEM
(KPLC) - The Beauregard Parish Sheriff is defending the actions of one of his deputies after shooting two dogs during a call on Saturday. The shooting happened at Williams Tractor Supply on U.S. 190 in DeRidder.
Sheriff Ricky Moses said the incident began when his office received a call about a situation in front of the business.
"We received a call from a bicyclist," Moses said. "He was cycling down. He was attacked by a COUPLE OF PIT BULLS. They came at him aggressively and almost knocked him off his bike."
The business was closed over the weekend. Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office Animal Control deputies tried to call the business owner but the situation escalated quickly.
"Animal control came out. The dogs became aggressive towards him and unfortunately, he had to shoot at the dogs and ended up killing one of the dogs," Moses said.
The two dogs belong to John Arthur Williams, the owner of Williams Tractor Supply. Williams thinks the situation could have been resolved without the death of one of his dogs.
"This shouldn't have never happened," Williams said. "He murdered that dog - an innocent dog on private property."
Moses said despite the unfortunate ending, the deputy was trying to defend himself.
"It's not the best outcome but it's a decision he felt like he had to make. We don't want our deputy being mauled by a pit bull," said Moses.
Williams said there are other ways of capturing or pacifying dogs but using a firearm should not be one of them.
"I feel he handled the situation completely wrong and by him handling it wrong; he murdered a dog and we do not know if the other dog will make it until she gets out of surgery," he said.
Williams told KPLC his dog is recovering after undergoing surgery Monday afternoon.
He has also hired an attorney to consider his options. In fact, it's the same attorney who represented the plaintiff in the case against the Sulphur police officer indicted of aggravated cruelty to animals in 2014.
Moses said he wants Williams to understand that his deputies were just doing their jobs.
"The deputies were doing the job they're required to do. We can't let a vicious, dangerous animal running at large that we were under obligation to try to pick up until the owners could be contacted, and explain to them that these dogs needed to be penned up," Moses said.
He said his deputies took immediate action to prevent another dog attack.
"We couldn't just leave without attempting to do something. If we left and those dogs attacked somebody else that's coming down the highway, then we'd be at fault," he said.