A Georgia man says that he was threatened with jail time if he tried to treat his dog after a police officer shot the animal in the throat.
Tim Theall told NBC Atlanta that Doctor, his 9-year-old German Shepherd, ran to the front of his house after being let out of the back yard Thursday evening.
“And before I turned the corner of the house, I heard two shots; I heard a cop go, ‘Holy [expletive],’” Theall told NBC Atlanta.
Doctor had apparently caught a DeKalb County police officer off guard as he was investigating a false house alarm call.
Theall told the TV station that he is less angry about the shooting since the officer was likely surprised. But what did upset him was the officer’s refusal to let Theall and his wife take Doctor for treatment for more than an hour.
The officer even twice used his police cruiser to block the man from getting help for the dog, Theall claims.
“No steps were taken by DeKalb police whatsoever to try to save my dog’s life,” he said.
“The dog was still alive, clearly bleeding like crazy and the police officer blocked my exit,” Theall continued.
“Finally he convinced me that I would be thrown in jail if I didn’t just stay where I was.”
While Doctor survived the bullet wound to his throat and he required oral surgery. Theall and his wife set up an online fundraiser to help defray the medical expenses. So far, they have raised around $5,700 out of their $8,000 goal.
Theall’s wife provided more details of the shooting and its aftermath at the fundraising site.
She wrote that the police officer would not allow the couple to take Doctor for help “due to procedure.” When a second officer arrived 20 minutes later, “we found out that procedure was just to take pictures of the bleeding dog.”
She also said that the police officer who pulled the trigger said that animal control were on their way to assist Doctor.
“I find out that animal control was told to come pick up a dead dog and had no idea about the dog needing help,” wrote Theall’s wife.
A DeKalb County police spokesman said that he understands the couple’s frustration but that police officers kept Doctor at the scene in order to preserve evidence of the shooting.