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Animal Rights Activists Upset Over Shooting

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An alleged incident of animal cruelty in Washington County has animal rights activists up in arms. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says last month an animal control officer in Copan shot a family's dog with her rifle. PETA says it has received dozens of calls about the shooting, and the News On 6's Chris Wright reports it is urging Washington County's District Attorney to prosecute the officer to the full extent of the law.

Smokey, the Shafer's 1-year-old dog, now walks with a limp, and his owners say his leg may have to be amputated. On March 19th, police say 55-year-old Carlotta Evans shot him twice with her 22-caliber rifle. She told police she had received a complaint that Smokey and another dog were chasing children in the street. The Shafer's say that is not true, and this was not the first time Evans had targeted their dogs.

"She used to stand across the road and call my dogs to the road,” said Jeremiah Shafer. “I caught her one day and asked what she was doing, and she said she was going to get them out in the road so she could shoot them."

Evans does have a right to shoot particularly dangerous dogs. In Copan, there is a city ordinance that vicious dogs be put down before they are impounded. Police though say there is never any reason to shoot a dog.

"I don't think there's any excuse for shooting a dog like this. The dog was really not harming anybody when she was there," said Washington County Sheriff’s Department Captain Gary Miller.

Employees at the Washington County SPCA say the alleged shooting is out of character for Evans. She often drops off strays at the SPCA, and they've never had any problems with her.

"We've never had any complaints with her. She's been very professional when she's been out here," said Anita Stapp of Washington County SPCA.

Evans' fate remains uncertain after this complaint. At the very least, the Shafer's hope she won't be allowed near animals again.

"I don't think she should get her job back," said Shafer.

The person who answered the door at Evans’ house told us she is unable to comment because of legal reasons. PETA wants jail time for Evans if she's convicted. The organization is also asking the DA's office to make sure she is prohibited from any more professional contact with animals.

Related story:

3/28/2007 - Dog Catcher Arrested For Shooting Dog
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