Shooting Doctor – DeKalb PD investigates incidentDoctor. Photo obtained via Go Fund Me.
Tim Theall said his German shepherd, Doctor, is one of the nicest dogs you’ll ever meet.
But a DeKalb Police officer who met Doctor on the evening of July 24 after responding to a burglary call at Theall’s Gresham Park home shot the dog, saying he feared for his life.
Doctor is expected to recover, but that recovery will be long and expensive. Theall said it could cost the family upwards of $6,000.
“I want him to live,” Theall said. “This dog has saved my life. He’s an incredible animal.”
DeKalb Police have opened an internal affairs investigation, according to spokesman Capt. Steven Fore.
“Yesterday, an officer responded to the location on a residential alarm,” Fore said. “He arrived and began checking the exterior of the residence. As he moved to check the side of the residence he was approached by the K-9. The K-9 was unrestrained and the officer reported the K-9 approached him in an aggressive manner leading the officer to believe he was going to be bitten. The officer discharged his firearm striking the K-9. Internal Affairs is investigating the incident.”
Theall said he was at home when the officer arrived in response to an alarm call. Theall said the alarm company told him the alarm hadn’t sounded.
“My dog is anything but aggressive,” Theall said. “The dog was running around the corner. He was just finishing his business in the backyard … I heard the guy yell, ‘Oh shit’ and then, bang! Bang!”
The officer shot Doctor in the throat. But the family’s ordeal didn’t end there, Theall said.
“He stops me from taking him to the vet for an hour,” Theall said. “He blocked me. When I got around him, he blocked me. Every street I tried to (use to) take my dog to the vet to get him some treatment was blocked. He told me he had called animal control.”
He said officers informed him he would be cited with obstruction of justice if he tried to leave to get the dog to the vet. Animal control arrived expecting to find a dead dog, Theall said.
“The guy called in a dead dog,” Theall said. “(They) had no information to fix the problem. He was going to keep me there until the dog died.”
Theall said his wife was upset and at one point officers threatened to put her in the back of a patrol car if she didn’t calm down.
He said he understands police officers have a tough job and aren’t paid what they’re worth, but Theall thinks the officers who came to his home showed “a complete lack of compassion.”
Theall and his wife have established a Go Fund Me account to help pay Doctor’s vet bills. He said anything he receives above what the treatments cost will be donated to a no-kill animal shelter.
He said he thinks the county should pick up Doctor’s tab at the vet, but so far they haven’t offered to do so.
“He’s just the nicest animal,” Theall said.