An animal advocacy group has filed a complaint after a New Jersey State Police Trooper shot a stray dog in Lawrence. Reformers – Advocates for Animal Shelter Change is asking everyone to join in an effort to charge the trooper and animal control with animal cruelty.
The incident occurred on June 8 along Cedarville Road when Officer Edward Jefferis wrote in his report he shot a dog – which he identified as a pit bull – after the dog growled and advanced towards him. Lawrence Animal Control Officer Ron Sutton had called off efforts to safely capture the dog. Two previous reports stated there had been two attempts to catch the dog, but both times the scared dog eluded capture.
According to Change.org, Sutton claimed the dog had nearly caused three accidents and had already been badly injured. It seemed obvious the dog had been able to free himself from a bad situation, was extremely afraid of humans – and had an embedded collar around his neck which could have been successfully removed and treated. According to an eyewitness, each time the dog came closer to humans, he would wag his tail – hardly the behavior of an aggressive pet.
The body cam video:
In the video, a woman is approached by the state trooper who told her to leave while alleging the dog was mean. The woman, in turn stated she saw no signs of aggression, and it was likely he was just frightened.
“You can tell he’s finally got free from a really bad situation, just from his wounds and stuff. Ad now it’s like, he’s afraid for his life.”
The woman asked that the dog be trapped by luring it with some food, however the trooper said a “noose” from the animal control officer would be quicker. Again the officer asked the woman to leave. Later in the conversation between Sutton and the trooper, suggested the following:
“y’know what you could do is, walk up to it and (say) ‘ hey, it came towards you’,” stated Sutton. “It came at you. That’s all.”
The trooper responded that it wouldn’t be possible since the woman who had been witnessing the entire encounter wouldn’t leave. Moments later, the dog barked and growled at the trooper as it emerged from the woods several feet away from the two men. The video ended.
The officer fired a single round into the dog’s chest area which did not kill the brown and white dog who ran off bleeding into the woods. He has never been found.
In response, Sutton contends animal activists have been going after him and his job for years. He is currently running for township committee in Commercial.
JUSTICE FOR OHANA – LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
Please right to the new State Veterinarian at the email address below and ask her to please investigate the shooting of #Ohana and the blantant disregard Animal Control Officer Ron Sutton had for the dog when he and Trooper Jefferies conspired to illegally euthanize the dog by gun shot.
Patricia A. Zinna, DVM, MS
NJ Deputy State Public Health Veterinarian
NJ Department of Health, Communicable Disease Service
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