Pembroke Pines, FL – What happened to an Australian shepherd named “Baxter” last Friday is a dog owner’s worst nightmare.
Baxter slipped from his home.
A concerned neighbor notified a community security guard, who in turn, phoned the police.
By the time that the police arrived, Baxter was back inside of his home – unfortunately, the door was open when the strangers (aka “Police”) walked to the front door.
At this critical point, things fell apart.
According to the local 10 News, the police opened fire on the protective pooch after he started barking and proceeded to bite an officer’s shoe…yes, his shoe.
Standing at the door at the time that the officer opened fire was a member of Baxter’s human family – the Jones’ family’s 13 yr-old son, Cameron.
Baxter was shot by the officer a staggering six times. Somehow he survived and was rushed to an emergency veterinarian for the wounds to his chest.
Thankfully, Baxter has survived the weekend.
His family reports that his wounds have stopped bleeding and there is no damage to the intestinal tract.
Baxter is lucky – surviving six gunshot wounds to the chest is almost unheard of.
Now, Baxter has his own Facebook page where his supporters can follow his progress. There are many individuals who are crying foul over the way that the police handled this situation.
Did a bite to the officer’s shoe warrant repeated gunfire?
Was the repeated discharge of the gun necessary (safe and called for?) in front of the family’s son?
Frank Jones posted a statement on Baxter’s Facebook page just moments ago, which reads, in part,
What happened was certainly a tragedy, and one in my opinion that could have been avoided. However, this is not about a witch hunt. I have respect for the police force of Pembroke Pines as I have many friends who are officers. This officer in particular, I felt, overreacted and endangered the safety of my son. Several people have asked what I am looking for in regards to an outcome. First, and foremost, I want my dog back home with his family where he belongs. Second, I would like my son to have full confidence in law enforcement knowing that they are there to protect and serve the community. Most importantly, I would like to make sure this is a situation never faced by another family. I am not sure of the training provided to the police force in terms of responding to a loose animal, but I would hope that there are, or could be, other options like their stun guns, batons, or pepper spray. This is especially true considering the fact that there was a child nearby. After all, the officer did summon the child to come outside and deal with the animal but still fired 6 shots.
If you would like to follow Baxter’s progress as he fights to recover from his wounds, you can do so here.
According to the Local 10 News publication, there is an investigation into the shooting, but thus far, the department is standing behind their officer’s actions.
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