Off-duty corrections officer kills neighborhood dog
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A woman's dog is dead and a Lee County corrections officer pulled the trigger.
This heartbroken pet owner wants to know if the off-duty officer will be held responsible.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services is investigating this case. It happened Thursday night in the Northwest Cape.
The dogs owner says her dog is dead because she was a pit bull and that the off-duty corrections officer who shot her is hiding behind his badge.
"Everyone knows Sassy," owner Carissa Correia said. "She didn't have a threatening bone in her body."
A candle flickers underneath tennis balls, a leash and scooby snacks as a memorial for a part of the family no longer here.
"She had hip dysplaysia you know. She was lazy, she just loved to cuddle." Correia said.
She says she let her 7-year old pit bull, Sassy, out to go to the bathroom and that's the last she saw her alive.
"Usually she is really good, she does her business she comes right back in," Correia said. "Not even 5 minutes later I hear 2 gunshots."
She says she saw her neighbor, an off-duty Lee County corrections officer standing next to Sassy's body. He was already on the phone with police. According to Cape Coral police records, the man was walking his dog when Sassy ran up to them and tried to bite him. That's when he took his department issued handgun and shot Sassy.
"People make mistakes but does that mean their dog, their family pet that was beloved deserves to get brutally murdered like that and get left in the street like a stray?" asked Correia.
She acknowledges that Sassy should have been on a leash and that according to Lee County law, the officer had the right to protect himself. But to her, the story doesn't add up.
"You live right across the street, you could have spoke to me in civilized manner," Correia said.
FOX 4 reporter Kelli Stegeman went across the street to try to talk to the officer but he didn't want to talk.
"I guess no dog is safe anymore and that's also because she's a pit bull she had a disadvantage from the get go," Correia said.
She hopes Sassy's story stops this from happening to someone else, even creating a Facebook page called 'Justice for Sassy' and offering a piece of advice for other dog owners.
"Do not have it out unless its on a leash because you're powerless at that point if anything does happen."
Because the officer fired his department issued handgun, the Lee County Sheriff's Office says he will fill out a special form and submit it to his commander to evaluate.