Animal Control Officer Fired After Shooting Dog

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.

7 Responses to “Animal Control Officer Fired After Shooting Dog”

  1. wescott20 says:

    It’s good that Purvis was fired, but he should also be thrown in prison, and in my opinion, Animal Control should have to legally answer as well. They make too many of these “mistakes” but when it comes to helping animals they never deliver. I hope the dog’s owner sues Purvis and the animal control department.

  2. nora says:

    Oh God. That poor dog. How stupid and blood thirsty was that law officer. He should never be allowed to carry a gun again within a job capacity. I wonder how many other idioctic decsions he has made in the past that were never discovered.

  3. catmom5 says:

    DUH! Maybe it IS time to look at alternatives to shooting animals. How barbaric, how unnecessary. Poor, poor dog. Too bad the owner didn’t have a collar on her ~ maybe that would have made the difference.
    No animal should have to die like that.

  4. Debra says:

    What a sad story! How heartbreaking and unnecessary.

  5. Furbabies says:

    Mr Purvis, where ever you are, I hope you rot in hell!

  6. Beth says:

    This is just so sad. Whatever happened to the tranquilizer guns that animal control people used to carry. At least the dog would still be alive & perhaps the owner would have put a collar on the dog & taken other precautions to keep the dog from getting out………but………now all that is too late. Such a shame. I did not know that animal control officers always shoot to kill…….that seems to be the going trend.

    I’m glad he got fired……..no wonder Abby ran from him…..probably knew what kind of b…… the animal control officer was…….humphhhh

  7. mittens says:

    why no commentary on the irresponsible owner who led to this whole sad situation?

    a dog that has a history of escaping, an ‘ owner’ who is apparently not home a lot to take care of his animal properly and no collar, no tags, no proof of rabies vaccination. whatever the animal control officer may or may not have done, it all started with an irresponsible, ignorant owner. the least that he could have done was make sure his animal, who he knew had a history of escaping, was properly collared and id’d. and if he knew his dog got out frequently he should have addressed the problem.

    animals will have no chance of humane protection in our society until their owners/protectors/ parents are held accountable for their lapses in the appropriate care and safety for their pets. the owner created this situation. the owner is the real base problem.until we have more personal responsibility among alleged adults we will continue to have escalating crime and instances of unnecessary cruelty. people need to be held responsible for their actions rather than just reverting to ranting against government and law enforcement as if they can somehow can become psychic and realize exactly the circumstances of every unidentified dog running wild and every criminal with their sob story background totting a gun and terrorizing their neighbors. we blame ‘ the government’ and ‘ society-’ amorphious blobs- a meaningless accusation that goes no where. irresponsible individuals never held accountable for their deeds and inactions is the real problem of our increasingly cruel chaotic society.

    if this was a tagged dog who had gotten away from their owner who had done everything in their power to protect and insure the safety of their pet, i would feel differently. accidents happen-leads break etc. however this is clearly an on going case of negligent owner.i feel for the animal- another unfortunate victim of thoughtless irresponsible humans all the way around. people will only be kinder and more responsible toward animals when they no longer view them, when convenient , as owned, inanimate objects and see them as sensate beings akin to their children and requiring just as much care and reponsible monitoring. instead they seem like cars you park in your driveway and forget about when you need to go into the studio. they are living beings not potted plants. a drastic reassessment of values is necessary if we are ever to have a truly humane society wherein cruelty and irresponsibility are not condoned or explained away .


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