BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Several people in one Hays County neighborhood are upset that a dog was shot and killed in their neighborhood.
It happened around 7:47 Wednesday morning on Shale Circle in the Stonefield subdivision in Buda.
The Hays County Sheriff’s Office says a man was walking his dog, a small breed, when they were attacked by another dog — a large breed — that was off its leash. In response, the man, who is an officer with the Rollingwood Police Department, shot and killed the larger dog. The Rollingwood Police Department says it has begun an internal investigation into the officer’s actions.
“The two dogs were just growling and barking at each other. Just as I got to him, the man grabbed him by the collar,” said the woman who was walking her dog, Bandit, the dog that was shot and killed.
“He came out of his collar and he looked at me and he said, ‘if you don’t get your dog, I’m going to shoot him.’ And I turned around to grab him and he shot him right in front of me, right at my feet,” said Bandit’s owner. “I never had the chance to get him or to stop him and he shot him twice.”
Still shaken from the event, Bandit’s owner asked us not to use her name. “In the heat of the moment, I would have never guessed that he actually had a gun and he was going to shoot him,” she said.
The Rollingwood Police Department says the officer completed training on dealing with dangerous dogs two years ago. Bandit’s family says there clearly needs to be more training.
“He didn’t even give me a chance to catch him at all. In fact, if I had acted any faster, I might have been in the line of those bullets because I was going to reach down to grab him and he shot him in the head,” said Bandit’s owner.
We attempted to talk with the officer, but a man who answered at the home said they had no comment.
‘The Bullet Could Have Gone Anywhere’
“Why do you need a gun in the morning?” asked Gabriela Romero, a neighbor who says she often walks her dog and is now worried. “Who’s going to assault you?”
This incident has left several neighbors wondering “what if?”
“The bullet could have gone anywhere,” said Martin Robledo, another neighbor who says he is now worried about his 3-year-old grandson who plays in the front yard. “It could have hit a kid, it could have hit someone else. You never know, a freak accident.”
Neighbor Shirley Martinez heard the gunshots and says, “It was an aggressive response to a situation.”
Martinez says she’s been in that situation before dealing with strange dogs, but has a solution.
“I have resolved them with a spray bottle and an aggressive stance, yelling, ‘no.’ There has to be another way to de-escalate a situation without someone or someone’s animal being shot and killed first.”
But another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, thinks the man didn’t do it on purpose.
“I don’t think he woke up this morning and said, ‘I’m going to kill a dog.”
The neighbor also believes this could have all been avoided.
“The dog would be alive if it was on a leash and I think this ought to be a lesson for everybody who has their dogs that they need to put their dog on a leash.”
The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident as an animal cruelty case and will consult with the district attorney’s office to see if any charges will be filed.
By county ordinance, a dog must be restrained on a leash when it is in public. Deputies did not know where the deceased dog’s owner was at the time of the shooting.