Investigation finds animal control officer's shots at dog lawful - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Investigation finds animal control officer's shots at dog lawful

Posted:
June 9 Greenbrier County commission meeting. June 9 Greenbrier County commission meeting.
LEWISBURG (WVVA) -

The Greenbrier County commissioners have released the Blue Ribbon Committee report, which was an investigation of Animal Control Officer, Robert McClung, and his decision to shoot a dog six times, resulting in the dog's death. The Blue Ribbon Committee consisted of three members, James Desimone, Jerry Cooke and John McCutcheon.

The report details the incident that occurred on April 21, 2015. After reviewing the incident, the panel found that McClung acted lawfully and appropriately, and the panel does not recommend action be taken against McClung.

"The dog was upset and that's possibly why it took so many shots to put him down, and it was a very large dog, probably an 85-pound dog,” said Greenbrier County Commissioner, Lowell Rose. “It came around the truck and growled at him and scared him, and he made a split second decision, and that was the outcome."

The panel recommends three changes be made to prevent incidents like this from happening again, including new equipment for the animal control officers, providing written standard operating guidelines, and to move the supervision of the animal control officers to the sheriff and chief deputy of Greenbrier County. The commissioners agreed to provide new equipment for the officer, and are working on the other recommendations.

“The equipment will make it safer for him and safer for the animals, the bite stick, the net-- which you can shoot out over them to catch them, which makes it safer for the animal and for the individual," said Rose.

The owner of the dog, Tamara Curry, issued the following statement:

"I still strongly feel that he is not the person fit for this job. After speaking to so many people who have had complaints about him not rescuing animals who needed help, or not taking an animal who has bitten a child, I stand firm in saying I don't think he did everything possible before resulting in shooting Max. I will say, I hope he uses his new equipment he has instead of a gun next time,” said Curry.

Commissioner Rose hopes that a taser will replace the animal control officer's gun.

Commissioners hope to announce if the guidelines and transfer of supervision to the sheriff's department will go into effect at the next Greenbrier County Commission meeting on June 23.

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