In Sturgeon, Missouri, the owner of a blind and deaf dog who was shot and killed by a police officer has lodged a formal complaint with the city authorities. The event unfolded on Sunday when local police were dispatched to handle a report of an injured animal at large. The canine was believed to be displaying signs of rabies. However, it later emerged that the dog — a Shih Tzu mix — exhibited unusual behavior due to his blindness, not rabies.

Sturgeon police officer shoots and kills small blind dog

Teddy, a 5-year-old Shih Tzu weighing 13 pounds, was not only blind but also deaf from birth. His owner, Nicholas Hunter, described him as an energetic dog throughout his life. The City of Sturgeon made a statement via social media on Monday. The organization explained that the responding officer felt compelled to euthanize the dog under the mistaken belief that he was rabid.

Hunter was dining in Columbia when he received a distressing call about his dog — per ABC 17. A social media post by the city informed him that Teddy had been located. According to reports, the individual who found Teddy contacted Boone County Joint Communications. They said that the dog was not a threat and was merely sitting by their side and drinking water.

However, as Hunter was en route to the scene, he was informed that Sturgeon Police had intervened, resulting in Teddy’s fatal shooting. Hunter recounted his visit to the police station and his interaction with the officer responsible. Despite appearing to express remorse in a video shared with ABC 17, the officer had initially justified his action. He speculated that Teddy was either injured, a stray or abandoned.

Further confusion arose as the mayor later issued a statement suggesting the officer’s actions were motivated by fears of rabies. This reason was not discussed in Hunter’s videoed interaction, wherein it was stated Teddy was up-to-date with vaccinations, including rabies.

Discrepancies between the officer’s account, the mayor’s public statement, and the behavior of the person who initially found Teddy and reported no threats led Hunter to file a complaint with the City of Sturgeon. “I’m hoping these officers and future officers can find a way to follow the fourth continuum, our levels, correctly versus going straight to lethal force,” Hunter said.


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Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.


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