Woman wants animal control officer fired after family dog shot

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MANCHESTER, Ga. - A woman wants answers after she said animal control ordered police to shoot and kill her dog while it was fenced up in her own yard.

The dog, named Ella, was fenced in her yard when the animal control officer showed up saying she attacked another dog, was rabid and needed to be shot.

Her owner wasn't home at the time and said none of that was true, but it's too late to save her dog.

"It's really terrible and I still get upset about it sometimes. And I still miss her very much. She was a sweet dog," owner Robin Garrett said about Ella.

Garrett said Ella loved to sit on her lap and play with the grandkids. She said the 2-year-old beagle-boxer mix was current on her vaccinations and had no history of aggression.

On March 21, the city of Manchester's animal control officer came to Garrett's home and along with police shot the dog behind a fence in her own yard.

"I mean nobody's animals are safe if they are just going to do that and just shoot them in a fence," said neighbor Ricky Bonner, who lives across the street.

Bonner said he tried to stop officers but they ordered him inside. In the police report, the animal control officer said Ella attacked another dog and had rabies. Bonner insisted that wasn't the case, but animal control told police to shoot her with a shotgun.

"I heard the gunshot," Bonner told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri.

Garrett had no idea. She got a call from her vet on the way home from work as a special education teacher.

"She was lying on the tailgate of the truck when I got there and I just started crying," Garrett said.

Viteri saw the animal control officer at the police department Friday evening but drove off instead of speaking with her.

Garrett said the alleged attack involved another of her four dogs, and she believes it was her new puppy, not Ella, that was responsible.

She and neighbors are still grieving for Ella and waiting for answers more than a month later.

"It's violent, inhumane. Quite simply it was pure and simple animal brutality," Bonner said.

Viteri spoke with the chief of police and told her the investigation into what happened is still ongoing and they have yet to speak to the neighbor she interviewed.

At this time the chief said no disciplinary action has been taken against the animal control officer.