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Dog Owner Plans Lawsuit Against Cops Who Shot His Dog | Crime

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Dog Owner Plans Lawsuit Against Cops Who Shot His Dog
Crime, Pets
Dog Owner Plans Lawsuit Against Cops Who Shot His Dog

Residents of the Parklawn neighborhood who had repeatedly complained about a loose pit bull needn’t worry any more – Fairfax County police officers shot and killed the dog in Saturday while the owner, Tom Tomlo of Everglade Drive, was at work.

Lucy Caldwell, a spokesperson with Animal Control, says the department received a call on Saturday about a loose dog, and when police officers arrived, the dog charged, so an officer shot it.

Tomlo heard about the incident from a neighbor and rushed home. When he got there, he found “three or four police cars and a caravan in front of my house and my dog lying on the front porch with a bullet in his head.”

An officer said “your dog has been out of control,” Tomlo recalls. “I said ‘you are approaching this the wrong way.’ Someone shot my dog and you’re questioning me.’ This is a crime.” Tomlo said he is filing a civil lawsuit against Officer M. Tucker and the Fairfax County Police.

Tomlo has had the dog, named Crash, since he found him as a four-week-old puppy on a parking lot in Alabama about eight years ago. “He was the best dog I’ve ever had. He was very gentle, very intelligent,” he says.

Crash was not a pit bull, he says. “He was a mutt mixed with several breeds. He had characteristics that made him resemble a pit.” And many people in the neighborhood thought he was one.

“They said the dog was aggressive and the officer felt threatened,” Tomlo says. “The dog was on the front porch, and he felt threatened when the officer approached. . . . Any animal would have reacted that way.” Crash had never once behaved “in a harmful or vicious manner,” Tomlo says. “There were never any reports, incidents, or threats. The only thing that had ever happened was the dog got out of his fence. That’s what dogs do."

“If my dog was preventing the cops from investigating a crime or was on the neighbor’s property, I would totally understand what happened,” he says. “But he was 10 feet from my front steps.”

“He was part of my family. There was no justification for shooting him,” says Tomlo, who was still coming to terms with the loss of his pet. “They took the dog corpse for an autopsy. I don’t know why as it’s pretty obvious he was shot in the head. I hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye.”

Crime, Pets