A non-threatening dog shot by police in Atlanta suffered more than he had to. His owner, Tim Theall, accuses DeKalb County police of shooting his 9-year-old German Shepherd, Doctor.
Police were on another call when the incident occurred Thursday; they were responding to a false alarm. Theall says he let Doctor out of the backyard fence, but was unable to catch up to him after the canine ran around the house to the front yard. Doctor startled one of the police officers when they met up and the officer shot the dog.
Doctor wasn’t dead, but he needed treatment.
“No steps were taken by DeKalb police whatsoever to try to save my dog’s life,” Theall tells11 Alive in Atlanta on Friday.
For Theall’s part, he understands why Doctor startled the DeKalb County policeman, but is beside himself that the dog went untreated for over an hour.
He recalls the scene:
“And before I turned the corner of the house, I heard two shots; I heard a cop go, ‘Holy [expletive].'”
Doctor didn’t die from the gunshots, but he was “clearly bleeding like crazy and the police officer blocked my exit,” Theall says.
The dog’s owner claims that the cop used his patrol car twice in preventing him from taking Doctor to the vet in his own vehicle.
Theall says the police told him:
“Finally he convinced me that I would be thrown in jail if I didn’t just stay where I was.”
It wasn’t until other officers and a sergeant showed up after an hour that Theall was allowed to take Doctor to the emergency vet. Fortunately, the dog that was shot by police will recover. The medical bills, however, are astronomical.
Tim Theall’s wife signed up for a gofundme account for donations in helping pay the bills. The response they received is amazing. The bills came to $8,000 and the Thealls received $10,000 in donations within days. Theall and his wife are shocked at how much everyone cares about their dog.
“It really does restore some faith in humanity, really; we’ve got friends out there,” says Theall.
DeKalb County Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Fore says the event is under investigation, and police are going by the same protocol they would follow in any other shooting. Capt. Fore says officers at the department are trained to keep crucial evidence at a shooting scene. He does sympathize with the owner and understands the reason for his concern in not getting the animal treated immediately. Fore adds that officers will learn from this and see how they can handle a similar situation differently should it arise in the future.
[Image via Daily Caller]