A Chowan County, Virginia animal control officer who shot a dog because she was a threat to traffic safety has lost his job.
Jerome Purvis, the animal control officer, and city police officers were called to what they thought was an unoccupied house for a report of a dog running in the street. This dog was the same dog that animal control was trying to capture the previous day because she was running in a street intersection.
Purvis decided to shoot the dog because she was a threat to traffic, uncatchable and unidentifiable because she was not wearing a collar, said Peter Rascoe, county attorney.
The dog, Abby, belonged to Martin Parker. He had spent the night at his recording studio and was coming home the next day to pick up his dog that was penned in his yard.
He initially thought that Abby had simply escaped as she had done previously. He then called Abby’s veterinarian and instead found out that she had been shot.
From The Virginian Pilot:
Though the county’s animal control guidelines allow the use of a firearm under those circumstances, Mary Bass, supervisor of animal control, determined that Purvis failed to consider alternatives when the dog took itself out of traffic.
“The director determined his dismissal was warranted,” Rascoe said.
“Chowan County very much regrets the loss of the pet.”
Rascoe said the county will review its animal control policies to see if there are ways to help officers make better decisions.
According to the county’s animal control guidelines, a firearm should only be used to stop a vicious animal from destroying property or threatening a life; as euthanasia of an animal that is injured or suffering from a life-threatening illness in the field; or to stop an animal that is uncatchable by normal means or whose owner cannot be determined.