Local News

Dog Heals From Deputy's Shot, but County Orders Confinement

Posted January 24, 2007 7:30 p.m. EST

— A Cumberland County woman was very happy when her German shepherd survived being shot by a sheriff’s deputy and pleased when Cumberland County paid the dog’s vet bills, but she was shocked when county animal control came to seize the 60-pound pet .

Now, the dog, named Catalina, is confined at her veterinarian’s kennel, and Linda Vaughn has a Feb. 5 administrative hearing of her appeal of an order that says she must buy liability insurance to cover the dog and never take it out without a muzzle and a leash no more than 4 feet long.

The incident happened Jan. 9 while Vaughn was at her neighbor’s home because the neighbor was ill and Vaughn had called paramedics for help. Incident reports show that the paramedics had warned the deputy, while he was en route, about an aggressive dog in the yard.

The deputy shot Catalina on Jan. 9 after she barked at him and ran toward him with her teeth showing. A report says the deputy took three steps back and Catalina kept advancing.

"I don't know how the dogs got out. I was in the house over there," Vaughn said. "With the door closed, there's no way they can get out." She said she is certain she had closed the door.

Catalina was shot in the head, and Vaughn feared she would not survive, but she healed. Vaughn brought her home last week and though the incident was over, but animal control officers came to her house.

"She has never bit anyone, and she didn't bite the police officer,” Vaughn said. She said Catalina is protective of her property, but has never attacked anybody.

The Cumberland Sheriff's Office and county animal control declined on-camera interviews with WRAL. The sheriff’s office said, however, that its policies allow a deputy to shoot a dog in self-defense or to prevent substantial harm to an officer or another person.