A deputy from Missouri, who shot a family’s dog and threw its body in a ditch, is being sued by the family for killing their dog in an “wholly unjustified”, “senseless”, and illegal manner.
In August this year, the family’s dog, a nine-year-old Labrador mix named Parker, ran away from his family’s home during a storm.
Parker ended up in a neighbor’s home after being disoriented during the storm.
The neighbor, Hillary Mayberry, called the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office for help. However, instead of returning Parker to his family and home, Stoddard County police officer Rodger Seal shot him and threw his body in a ditch.
According to the lawsuit filed on October 31 by Parker’s owners, Tylla and Bryan Pennington, Seal arrived at Mayberry’s home and took the dog in his patrol vehicle and drove away.
Seal then took the pooch to a nearby wooded area. In the wooded area, Seal called Parker to get out of the patrol car and come to him. Parker obliged and that was when he shot the poor dog.
According to the suit, Parker did not immediately pass away after getting shot. “Instead Parker laid suffering in great pain from the initial gunshot wound for approximately eight (8) minutes.”
“During this eight (8) minutes, Parker was drug on the ground by Defendant Seal. After an agonizing eight (8) minutes of suffering, Defendant Seal shot Parker again finally killing Parker. After finally killing Parker, Defendant Seal threw Parker’s lifeless body in a ditch.”
The suit argues that while Stoddard County has a written policy to allow a deputy to shoot animals, they should be considered “dangerous, diseased or incapacitate”, which was not the case for Parker.
The lawsuit claims that based on the dog’s behavior, it was clear that it was “neither injured, nor dangerous, nor diseased, nor incapacitated.”
According to the suit, Seal “committed the felony of Animal Abuse” for intentionally killing the dog and letting it suffer for 8 minutes after shooting it the first time.
The suit also alleges that Stoddard County has “an unwritten policy, pattern, and practice of regularly killing dogs and disposing of them.”
The Pennington family’s attorney, Russ Oliver, tells Riverfront Times, “It’s absolutely unconscionable.”
Oliver also reveals that the family is suing for $5 million “to make sure that nobody else’s dog is executed in a remote area and thrown in a ditch by people who are funded with our taxpayer dollars.”