Local News

Mount Olive woman lodges complaint after officer kills dog

Posted September 22, 2008
Updated September 23, 2008

— A Mount Olive woman says she does not understand why a police officer killed her dog.

Durham, a 45-pound Labrador retriever, was fatally shot Thursday.

It happened after a neighbor called 911 to report the dog was in her yard and barking.

An officer arrived and called for backup when Durham barked at him, the neighbor said. Durham then walked back to his owner’s yard. When the second officer arrived, Durham went back into the neighbor’s yard.

Colby Mangum, who owned 2-year-old Durham, said police told her that Durham then showed his teeth and lunged at the officers. That is when one of the officers shot and killed the dog.

"I came to the backyard when I heard the first shot,” neighbor Annette Outlaw said.

Outlaw said she found the two officers with a gun and Durham's lifeless body about 25 feet away.

"I told him, he didn't have to shoot him, that he wasn't vicious. He says, 'He was within his rights to shoot the dog, because he showed his teeth,'” Outlaw said.

Outlaw said the officers put the dog in a plastic bag and left him on the side of the road.

"When the shift supervisor came by later that night, I asked him how would you feel if that were your dog? And he said, 'What else were we supposed to do with him,'” Mangum said.

Mangum said she has collected written statements from neighbors saying Durham was not vicious.

However, neighbor Bobbie Jean Dixon says this wasn't the first time police were called about Durham. She says he has chased her family before.

"He was a vicious dog, (and) frightened us and our children,” she said.

Durham's owner maintains the dog was harmless.

“He never showed any signs that he would be aggressive toward somebody or bite somebody. That just wasn't his personality at all. He just always wanted to play all the time,” Mangum said.

Mount Olive Police Chief Ralph Schroeder said Durham’s shooting is under investigation.

“I’m sorry this happened. And I want to express that to Ms. Mangum about her dog being killed,” Schroeder said.

Mangum said she questions why animal control officers were not called first to pick up the animal, instead of the police.

The names of the officers involved in Durham's shooting were withheld Monday.

The officer who pulled the trigger is on administrative duty while the dog' death is investigated. The chief says the officer has been on the police force for about a year.


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  • heather76 Sep 25, 2008

    My main concern in all of this is the fact that the officer that shot the dog...if he couldn't handle a situation with a 45lb lab barking and showing his teeth (not running at him)... what would he do in the case of a person yelling obscenities at him? Would he shoot the person? I think he's proved that he cannot handle confrontational situations.

  • heather76 Sep 25, 2008

    Rev. RB this was in no way a "neglected dog". This dog was loved very much by his owners and all the members of his "daddy's" soccer team. And there were NO other neighbors that complained about Durham. Actually, a petition was taken around to other neighbors where they signed and stated that Durham was never aggressive or threatening in any way. It's obvious the neighbor that called just didn't like dogs, and this one in particular peeved her. Dogs are very perceptive and maybe he didn't like her b/c she was a mean person. Either way, the neighbor that called had also stated in the newspaper that she didn't expect the cop to shoot the dog.

  • Mr. Sensible Sep 24, 2008

    Cops are shoot crazy. A kill is like a rush. Be it animal or human. Can't we screen these guys better. Any body that can't handle a 45 pound Lab puppy without resorting to deadly force must be lacking in some areas of training be it humanity skills or job specifics. Gee wiz.. Lord keep us safe from the powers at be.

  • Timbo Sep 23, 2008


    "You are out of your mind. "

    Yeah, so?

    "This is a Lab, not a chow, not a pit bull. I've owned labs for many years and NOT ONE has shown any sign of aggression."

    That's nice. However, statistically, labs are just behind rotes when it comes to biting humans.

    So, again, the dog attacked twice and was dispatched as he should of been.

  • lorivalentine1 Sep 23, 2008

    As an animal lover I sympathize with the fact that the dog was killed. However, the owner is truly at fault for this. I also do not feel the neighbor was obligated to have the phone number of her neighbor. I would assume the neighbors were not friendly if the family was afraid of the dog and has called police before (so why would she have the number?). Again it begs the question, why was the dog allowed to roam free? It is tragic but maybe others will learn from this. I hope the owner of the Rotti is reading all this. My dogs are treated as well as my kids but I would expect the same result if they were to roam free and have caused problems before.. a sad reality for this owner.

  • tsquaring Sep 23, 2008

    Why did they send animal control? What about dog mace? I'm just wondering because even though the owner wasn't controlling the animal, it seems excessive to me to shoot the dog. In my job, I have contact with loose dogs all the time. However, they won't let us shoot them.

    All that being said, I wasn't there, still I doubt I would have shot the animal. I've had an angry momma bear only 25 feet from me and didn't shoot her. (and could have... )

  • Whatever Geez Sep 23, 2008

    I dont think we should put down the owners but in my opinion, she should have let the police department know how upsetting it was (in a reasonable matter) and left it alone. She got everyone involved and now She's upset b/c people are against her. You can't go around and accuse people.

  • news4u Sep 23, 2008

    It's a SAD day indeed. I , for one, would never hurt a flea, much less a human.

    God bless you and rest in peace Durham.

    Poor Durham's owner can get some lovin' from me.

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 23, 2008

    Why didn't this woman have her dog tied, in a fenced area, or other? This officer did his job!!!!!I hate when dogs roam around when I am walking.

    We have a leash law here, but unfortunatley, some of these clowns don't care. They want their animals to have freedom to roam in their yards without a leash.

    No harm done in my opinion whe they officer killed this one.

  • cjreadytofly Sep 23, 2008

    Dogs should be kept contained on owner's property. However they do get loose sometimes-maybe they dig out or slip out of the collar, etc. If this dog was a problem for the neighborhood, Animal Control should have been contacted. They have ways of containing agressive animals without shooting them. The dog then could have been evaluated at the Shelter and if needed be put down in a HUMANE way. Animal Control should have been called at the time of the shooting and they could have disposed of the dog's remains without leaving them beside the street. If there is a breakdown in the county's animal control, then that needs to be corrected.