PARKLAND, FL — A police dog was shot and killed after being accidentally misidentified as a coyote, reports the Sun Sentinel.
Pedro the police dog lived with Broward County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ian Sklar, with whom he had been working for about two years, and was four at the time of his death.
According to Sheriff’s reports, young Pedro was overly excited by chasing some sort of animal and in his pursuit, he was able to escape Sklar’s fenced-in yard.
The dog startled a neighbor, Frank Degati, who he jumped on. The frightened man shouted for help, and his son came running.
“The dog jumped onto Frank with its front paws,” an investigation report said according to the Sun Sentinel. “Frank was pushed back and began to yell for help.”
His son, John, grabbed a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and fired approximately 10 rounds, thinking that he was fending off a coyote attack.
Pedro died at the scene.
Once John realized what he had done, he felt pretty terrible.
“John stated he felt bad that he shot the dog,” the report stated. The firearm was legally owned.
This is a tough situation to cast judgment on — if my father called for help from a perceived animal attack in the middle of the night, I probably would have done the exact same thing.
Yet here we still have a situation in which the shooter did not fully understand what he was shooting at.
I would not fault John Degati for doing what he did — his father was seemingly threatened by an animal, and he took action.
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