Canton police shoot, kill family dog during domestic call

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A family dog is dead after Canton Police say they were forced to shoot it while responding to a domestic dispute.

Officers were dispatched to a residence on Tyler Ave SE on Oct. 19 for a heated altercation involving a father and his future son-in-law.

As officers hurried to the scene, additional information from the dispatcher indicated a potentially dangerous situation. Yelling in the background was heard during the call, with a chilling threat of, “you going to shoot me.”

Upon arriving at the scene, responding officers encountered a male individual on the sidewalk surrounded by multiple parties engaged in a heated dispute. The family dog, identified as a large cane corso, was roaming outside.

Officers instructed those present to secure the dog inside the residence, but the parties on the scene responded with obscenities and failed to comply, according to the police report. As the tensions escalated, the dog began to advance toward one of the officers before the officer fired three shots at the dog with people, including children, standing by.

The officer reported the shots to dispatch, confirming that the dog had been incapacitated. The dog retreated into the residence after it had been shot.

Officers attempted to provide aid to the shot dog but the dog’s life could not be saved.

The altercation began when two parties on scene had become engaged in a physical altercation. A juvenile on scene told police that his step mother’s father attacked his future son-in-law and the juvenile was forced to intervene to separate them. The juvenile stated that the step-mother tried to attack him as well. The step-mother advised that the step-son had punched her.

Canton Police Chief John Gabbard released the following statement:

We take the discharge of firearms by our officers very seriously.  This incident is under review by our Office of Professional Standards, as is our practice with every instance when force is used.  Unfortunately, police officers frequently have to respond to unpredictable, volatile situations and address threats of all kinds in order to preserve public safety.  I have viewed the video and find it heartbreaking.  The fact that these difficult situations are inherent in the nature of police work makes them no less devastating to everyone involved, including the officers. 

ChieF JOHN GABBARD