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Deputy Kills Dog; Counties Investigating

Last updated on Thursday, July 12, 2012

(HANCOCK COUNTY) - A Marion County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his dog in a kennel, and now Marion County and Hancock County officials are investigating the shooting.

"I heard commotion and two shots - 'Boom' - and then about 10 seconds later, another boom," said Hancock County resident Jeanne Piers.

Police said what Piers heard was her neighbor, Tom Shambaugh, shooting his dog.

In a report, Shambaugh said he kicked the kennel in an effort to lock it after the dog, named Paco, pushed and attacked him. The incident report said the dog escaped from his kennel and later, when the deputy tried to return him, became agitated and aggressive.

Authorities said the deputy used his department-issued shotgun to put the dog down after he said it bit him.

The dog was owned by the deputy, who was off duty at the time of the shooting.

"It's a personal canine, but it was a Marion County-issued shotgun," said Capt. Robert Campbell, with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department.

The report said after the shooting, Shambaugh called 911, and Sugar Creek medics and fire officials came to check on his report of injuries.

"The deputy advised when he contacted his department officials that the canine was aggressive and coming at him, and that it did actually bite him," said Campbell.

Sugar Creek authorities said Shambaugh turned down a trip to the hospital, leaving some questioning whether the attack was threatening enough to warrant the killing.

"I've been snipped at and bitten at by a lot of dogs, but I wouldn't think to shoot them," said neighbor Ward Rush.

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