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Council tables vet-bill request in dog shooting
MR moons at council
Patricia and Kenneth Moon Jr. sit in Tuesday’s Ludowici City Coucil meeting. LPD Chief Richard Robertson is in front of them. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
LUDOWICI — A local couple asked the city council Tuesday to be reimbursed for a veterinarian bill after a city police officer shot their dog.
Patricia and Kenneth Moon Jr. asked for city help paying the $613 bill for treating the dog’s injuries caused when Officer Frankie Goff shot the animal.
According to the Moons, a neighbor said Goff stomped at the dog two times and then shot the animal as it was walking back to its home. The Moons said the neighbor told them the officer had no reason to shoot the animal, since the dog was in their yard.
However, according to Goff and two city employees, the dog had a history of being aggressive and the shooting was justified.
A police report filed by Sylvia Davis on July 20, said she was checking water meters on Macon Street when two dogs charged at her, barking aggressively. One was the Moons’ dog. Davis contacted the LPD and Goff arrived at the residence.
Goff said once he saw the dogs he called the department to ask for instructions. Chief Richard Robertson said he told Goff to try to catch the dogs and place them in his patrol car, but if he was unable to do that to do whatever was necessary. That included shooting the dog, but to be aware of what was in the area for safety.
Goff said he approached the dogs and the Moons’ dog charged. Goff said he then shot the animal.
Goff said Patricia Moon then came out of the house and was belligerent. Robertson then arrived and, according to Goff, he offered to finish “putting the dog down.” Moon did not want that, so the officers left.
Besides Goff, Robertson and the Moons, council members heard from Velder O’Berry, another city employee.
According to O’Berry, earlier that week he had been marking a sewer line in the area when the dog in question along with another dog came at him, barking aggressively.
“They were coming at me, and I had to keep hitting them with my shovel to stop them. I’m, sure they were trying to bite me,” O’Berry said.
The Moons emphasized they were asking for help with this vet bill, no more, even though they believe their dog will have to go for more vet visits, and be in a rehabilitation program.
Robertson said, “I don’t believe that the city of Ludowici should be responsible for a vet bill, when an owner is not responsible for their dog.”
The chief said, “As far as I’m concerned he (Goff) did everything he could have done.”
Councilwoman Debbie Bolick asked about the dog’s rabies shots. Patricia Moon said the dog was not up to date on vaccinations at the time of the incident, but was as of meeting.
After discussion, City Attorney Richard Phillips suggested the council not act, but investigate the matter more.
Robertson then asked the council for guidelines on what officers should do when facing an aggressive animal.
Councilman Jim Fuller Jr. said they could not give clear guideline, that was a judgment call that had to be made by them.
Fuller moved the matter be tabled until the September meeting. Bolick seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
After the meeting, Goff said, “It is unfortunate that the dog had to suffer, but it was a result of the owners’ lack of responsibility.”
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