By David Allen and Alicia Banks, The Star
Who let the dogs out? No one, according to police. But one dog is dead and one man is missing teeth.
This week alone, at least three canines broke their chains to chase police officers or residents.
Police shot and killed one dog on Logan Street Tuesday. And two pit bulls broke loose Sunday night within an hour of one another. One man was injured while others jumped onto a truck to escape attack.
According to the dog owners, their pets are regularly teased to aggression. But does the law permit such behavior?
A Shelby police officer shot and killed a charging dog Tuesday while looking for robbery suspects. According to the dog’s owner, the boxer broke loose from her steel chain and “nipped” an officer, putting a hole in his pants.
“She was a nice dog,” said Jacobey Giles, 20. “She’ll bark if she doesn’t know someone, but she won’t bite anyone.”
Her name was Chyna.
Giles said when police arrived at his house, officers began searching people nearby. Chyna soon broke loose from her chain.
Next, Giles said, Chyna ran toward an officer, who then shot her.
According to a police report, Officer Brandon Carpenter asked for more officers and a supervisor after the gunshots sounded.
Chyna was a gift from Giles’ grandfather and was a family member for 13 or 14 years.
Giles plans on suing either the officer who shot Chyna or the Shelby Police Department. He said something needs to be done.
“I know if I shot one of their dogs, they would treat it like an officer,” he said. “I treat my dog like it’s family.”
Giles has another dog, a pit bull, that remained on her chain and didn’t get involved in the incident.
“We’ve got Internal Affairs investigating (the) incident as a whole,” said Chief Jeff Ledford. “That’s standard protocol when a gun is discharged.”
Man loses teeth
Catrina Moore says Roxie is protective, not aggressive.
Moore has a 4-year-old daughter who sometimes slips outside without warning. Roxie, a pit bull, is trained to hold watch.
“But she’s been teased and taunted so much … I guess she finally had enough and went after them,” Moore said after an incident near her Smith Street home.
Moore said she was in bed when she heard two men yelling outside. Moore peered from her window to see Roxie in hot pursuit.
“(One man) fell and hit his face on a van on my next-door neighbor’s yard,” she said. “I called my dog and I sat there with him until the ambulance got there and left.”
The fall smashed 25-year-old Marquez Davis’ face, according to a police report. He lost several teeth and sustained a cut to the forehead.
Attempts to contact Davis were unsuccessful.
Vehicle crunched after dog chase
It was roughly 40 minutes earlier when Dorthy Roseboro of Crawford Street reported two men atop her Ford Escape. The two unnamed suspects were apparently attempting to run from a neighbor’s loose pit bull.
“Mrs. (Candice) Harrison advised her dog did get loose by breaking its chain but also complained that people walking up and down the street always provoke her dogs,” police were told.
Officer D.B. Bernat, who investigated both cases, noticed vehicular damage left behind — $500 worth.
The suspects were not found when police arrived, reports state. It was not immediately clear if the two incidents are connected.
Who’s to blame?
Moore said he worried Roxie could be taken away because of what happened. Animal Control was notified of both situations, police reported.
“It’s not my dog’s fault,” Moore said.
Health Services Coordinator Sam Lockridge confirmed Animal Control was notified, but said no violations took place.
“In both cases, animals broke their chains,” he said.
There are leash laws in Shelby, he said, but not in unincorporated areas of Cleveland County.
“We don’t see any type of enforcement that should be done,” Lockridge said. “Just glad the animals got put back up safely.”
Assistant County Manager Eddie Bailes said Shelby, Kings Mountain, Boiling Springs and Grover have added a leash law inside their city limits, but “a majority of their animal control guidelines are the same as the county's.”
Shelby’s statutes say no dog shall be kept, maintained or allowed off the premises owned or controlled by its owner or keeper unless it is then controlled by a tether, leash or similar device.
Violating that law results in a first-time penalty of $50. Subsequent violations result in stiffer fines.
Lockridge said dogs do “get out a lot” and break chains, “but it’s nothing alarming to the department.”