Alleged animal cruelty by an officer

Local - 4/10/2014 6:13 PM

BECKWITH - Alleged animal cruelty by an appointed officer in Fayette County caused uproar in the community.


Actions committed by Animal Control Officer Russell Parker are under criticism after he killed a dog that attacked a boy in Oak Hill.


Director at the New River Humane Society said, "I called I said bring the dog up, they said we can't, he shot it and cut its head off. And that was it. It should have been done through the animal hospital so that the vet could put it to sleep humanly and that they could have removed the head to make sure the brain stem was not damaged because that was our whole goal was to make sure this child did not have to go through those four shots."


Sheriff Steve Kessler said there was a miscommunication between the Health Department and the Officer; "That was not relayed to the animal control officer so when the health department official called him and said this has to be done this dog needs to be euthanized, he did that.”


Those who were here at the time of the event said the issue they have is with how this was done; the dog was dragged out the back door, shot three times and his head was cut off in the plain viewing site of the public.


Carr said, “nobody wants to see that it was horrific for my employees it was horrible it was barbaric and besides there are statutes if you look them up that you're not supposed to do it that many times. It's supposed to be humane and it wasn't.”


Prosecutor Carl Harris for Fayette County said, “it doesn't say to can't shoot and animal, it does say that if you do shoot an animal you should use a weapon with large enough caliber characteristics that are appropriate to do it with some shot. That's not what happened. That's unfortunate. That same statute doesn't have a penalty for not doing it that way."


Kessler said the officer has been disciplined for poor judgment, but he is not being charged with any crime.


"We put some policies in place that hopefully this doesn't occur again because it won't be tolerated again,” said Kessler.


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