In Riverview, Florida a security guard shot a family’s seven-year-old rescue dog on Saturday in his own yard, claiming the dog charged towards him as he had been ticketing the owner’s car for parking on a curb.
In the beautiful subdivision of Summerhill Village, the Siberian husky mix, named Vader was well known and equally as well liked by residents and other dogs. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Thursday night quickly turned into a tragedy as Vader’s owners, David Zimmerman, 51, and his girlfriend Kelley Hill, 32, tried to figure out what happened after a Critical Intervention Services, Inc. security guard said Vader had run towards him in an aggressive fashion.
Just before the dog was shot, Zimmerman had let his three dogs outside before going to bed. Vader led the pack with Zimmerman close behind. Suddenly Zimmerman heard four shots; a licensed gun owner, Zimmerman rushed to his truck and raised his own gun towards the security guard who had allegedly been dressed in black with no identification readily able to be seen.
The two men remained in a standoff until police arrived and confiscated Zimmerman’s gun. Vader was found lying in the driveway of his home; a bullet had struck his chest piercing his lung and shattering his left leg bone near his shoulder. As the dog had turned around after being hit the first time to run home, the security guard shot the dog again; this time in his back.
Vader was rushed to the emergency veterinary hospital where he is listed in serious condition.
The security company called the shooting an act of “justifiable force” and stated they would not be pressing charges against the officer who has been with the company for nearly a year.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is expected to investigate the case, although as of Saturday night, no detectives had been assigned to the case.
A GoFundMe fundraiser called Justice for Vader has been established by Kelley to cover some of the $13,000 veterinarian bills for care and surgeries expected to be performed beginning Tuesday.
“…Two of the bullets hit him, causing “aggressive damage”. Amazingly, he is a fighter and survived the night, but our vet bills are steadily climbing. They are expected to reach $13,000 for hospitalization and surgery. We have contacted several lawyers to help rid our community of vigilante security guards who find it acceptable to fire weapons in quiet, residential areas, but that is also really expensive. We feel that it must be done because our neighborhood is a special place. It is a regular occasion to see dogs and children playing, teenagers playing ball in the street, football parties, driveway discussions… it really is a great place to live! We love our neighborhood and we cannot stand for this type of senseless violence in our community. But the cost of animal rights legal services must be paid upfront. We are at the end of our rope, so devastated, and we don’t know what to do. Any help that you can give us would be SO appreciative!! We want justice for our sweet, snuggly, precious baby!!!,” wrote Kelley Hill.
Updates to follow.
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