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Dog owners speak out after deputy shot their pet

The owners of a dog shot to death by a Rock Island County Sheriff’s deputy say the officer’s action was out of line and cruel.

The owners of a dog shot to death by a Rock Island County Sheriff's deputy say the officer's action was out of line and cruel.

"We really wish they'd have another way to get a dog under control rather than putting a bullet in it," said the dog's owner, Kitty Smith.

"We're extremely hurt, he's a family pet, he never caused anybody harm. It's just wrong," she said.

Fisher was an 80-pound rottweiler who was shot by the deputy after a call over two dogs on the loose in rural East Moline. The caller said the dogs were attacking a rabbit hutch.

His owners say Fisher was not mean. The deputy told higher-ups that the dog became aggressive while he was trying to corral him into his squad car.

The Smiths say they don't understand why Animal Control wasn't called to handle the situation.

"They let my dog lay there and bleed to death, instead of putting it out of his misery. Completely inhumane and cruel. It's not possible he was aggressive. The owners of the home were playing with my dog, they were petting him. The cops just didn't take the time to get him," Smith said.

But Capt. Gerry Bustos said the deputy said the dog became aggressive, and the deputy believed he was in real or perceived danger. Bustos said Animal Control wasn't on duty at the time because it was early in the morning.

Capt. Bustos said there is an internal investigation into a portion of the shooting.

"We are doing an administrative review to find out why the animal wasn't put down earlier than it was after the initial shot," Bustos said.

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