A woman whose dog was shot by a Rogers County sheriff’s deputy this week said she is “frustrated” by the way the lawman handled the situation.
Bruno, a 70-pound German shepherd, was shot in the left shoulder Wednesday evening and left bleeding at a residence near Owasso, said his owner, Angie Laymon.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said Deputy Logan Eller was justified in his actions.
Laymon, who said her dog will survive, disagrees.
“I have a world of emotions,” she said Friday during a telephone interview. “I’m frustrated and disappointed. My husband used to be a deputy, and he says you don’t shoot first. His (the deputy’s) excuse was he panicked.
“So if you’re in a situation and it’s a human, and someone screams at you or yells at you or gets loud, are you going to panic and shoot them? If you’re panicking, get back in your car or don’t get out of the car if you’re scared of dogs. It’s very frustrating.”
Laymon said Friday morning that she was transporting Bruno from an Owasso animal hospital to a Jenks facility, where he faces surgery.
Deputies were dispatched to the area of Laymon’s home after receiving a call about a window being shot out at a home about a half-mile from hers, she said.
Eller pulled into Laymon’s long driveway, got out of his car and was confronted by two barking dogs, Bruno and a 5-month-old female German shepherd, Laymon said.
“My dog will run. If someone’s there and they get out, he will run past them and run back,” Laymon said. “So my dog ran past him, and as he turned and started back, he (the deputy) shot him. Four seconds from the time he put his car in park to the time he shot my dog.”
Walton said that after getting out of the vehicle, Eller retreated a couple of steps and shot the animal.
“These dogs are coming at him,” Walton said Friday in a phone interview. “He literally has microseconds to react. Absolutely, the dog came at him.”
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office left a note at the house that said: “We were investigating a crime and your dog attacked our deputy. The dog was shot and we need you to call us.”
Laymon said that after being dropped off at home from church Wednesday, her children discovered the note and their bleeding dog.
Walton, explaining why the dog was left unattended, said, “I guarantee you we would have been bitten and injured if we would have tried to load that dog up. I’m not getting into the dog ambulance business. We can’t do that. We’re not going to do it.
“We have 88,000 people to take care of with four officers on duty. I’m not at all glad that we had to shoot a dog, but I’m very grateful that the deputy wasn’t tore up or put in a situation where he can’t work so I could be another deputy short.”
The sheriff continued: “This question has been asked: … Couldn’t he have Tased it or sprayed it? He could have while he was getting bit.
“All these people who are offering suggestions on what could’ve or should’ve been done — I’d love to see them demonstrate how you do this.”
Walton issued a news release Friday evening in response to public “concern and interest,” saying that after the dog was shot, it retreated to a porch and the deputy called a supervisor to the scene.
“The deputy and supervisor attempted to provide assistance to the injured dog,” Walton stated. “However, they were unable to approach due to his aggressive nature.”
Walton said the two “attempted to contact the homeowner multiple times along with a local animal control agency,” which told them its employees were not allowed to leave their jurisdiction.
“The deputy and supervisor attempted to contact the homeowner as well as other local resources for over 1 hour and 20 minutes.
“The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office Administration was notified at this point and direction was requested on how to proceed. It was decided that the dog had a good possibility of survival and did not appear to have a life threatening injury.”
The release says it was decided that the officers would return to duty and leave a letter for the dog’s owners, who contacted the Sheriff’s Office about an hour later.
Walton asked for “the community’s support in exercising patience” while his office continues its investigation into the deputy’s use of force.