Vermilion

Dec 28, 2012 6:12 PM by Tonya LaCoste

Sheriff stands by deputies shooting "aggressive" dog

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon stands by his deputies' decision to shoot a dog while responding to complaint about a dog running loose in an Abbeville neighborhood. The shooting happened Sunday, Dec. 23 at a house on Orangewood Drive.

When two deputies arrived, the dog owner told them she didn't know whether her dog was on a leash, according to Couvillon. While looking for the dog, the sheriff said the dog jumped off the porch and ran toward the deputies - aggressively, barking and growling. "Deputies shouted for Miss Meche to restrain her dog, but the dog kept running toward the deputies barking loudly. Both Deputies drew their service weapons as a defensive and protective measure, firing a total of 7 shots at the approaching dog, striking it 3 times," Couvillon said. A veterinarian treated the dog for its injuries. Deputies responded to the same address regarding complaints of a dog running loose in February 2010, July 2010 and January 2011.

The sheriff went on to say that deputies respond to leash law complaints and take appropriate action, whether it be issuing a summons, filing charges or having animal control pick up the animal if its bitten someone or the owner can't be found. "It is NOT our practice to shoot animals found to be in violation of this ordinance. However, our deputies are trained and authorized to use reasonable and necessary force to protect themselves from attack and/or injury, regardless of the type of threat. In this particular incident, I stand by my deputies and the actions used as a means to protect themselves from what appeared to be an aggressive pit-bull dog that was barking, growling and advancing upon them rapidly", the Sheriff said in a press release.

Britney Meche is charged with Leash Law Violation. The law prohibits dogs from roaming at large on public roads or public places or on enclosed or unenclosed lands or other properties, unless such dog be in the immediate presence of the owner or keeper and under restraint.

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