Family upset after Cumberland deputy shoots dog after burglary call

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A local homeowner is upset with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office after a deputy shot his dog during a burglary call. The incident was caught on camera and left the dog badly injured.

Surveillance video obtained by ABC11 isn't great, but it shows a deputy shooting the dog during what was initially dispatched as a burglary call. Turns out, Dillon Tart's daughter accidentally set off the alarm on her way out of the home.

"At the end of the day it just breaks my heart for a dog to get shot like that," said Tart.

Tart says his dog, Tobi, guards their farm but there are "beware of dog" signs throughout the property. Tobi was shot twice, one bullet to the face, the other hit his chest.

Thankfully, Tobi survived emergency surgery.

"The dog is still in a lot of pain," said Tart. "But at the end of the day we still have a $2,600 vet bill and that's all I'm asking the Sheriff's Office to pay."

ABC11 reached out to the Sheriff's Office who said the deputy fired his weapon after Tobi charged at him, but Tart argues that Tobi's radius collar would only allow him to go so far.

The dog can't be seen on the surveillance video but you can see the deputy backing up as he shoots his gun. Tart says there had to be a considerable distance between Tobi and the deputy.

"The vet said it had to be several feet away because the bullet when it hit the bone it stopped inside the dog. She thought that if it was in close range it would've come out of the dog," said Tart.

The outcome could've been much worse, Dillon's mother argues. She was inside disabling the alarm when she ran outside after hearing the gunshots.

"I go to bed every night thinking about what if he would've got me when I was coming around the shelter, not knowing who I was, " said Tart's mother.

Sheriff Ennis Wright said he is extremely sympathetic to the loss of the Tart family's dog, however, he believes his deputy followed protocol. While the Tart family said they accept the apology, they're asking for support.

"To some people it's a dog but to us it's a family member," Dillon Tart explained.
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