MATHEWS COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – A family is seeking justice after a sheriff’s deputy reportedly shot and killed their pet pit bull, “King.”
The deputy, who hasn’t been identified, is not facing criminal charges.
“This dog was my family,” said Keith Whiting.
It happened Saturday on Diggs Wharf Road. Whiting and the deputy live across the street from one another.
Whiting told 10 On Your Side that he had let “King” out on the back deck when the deputy’s black Labrador, “Maui,” ran towards the deck and started barking.
“King” broke through a wooden picket railing on the deck and the two dogs reportedly ended up in the deputy’s yard.
A report from Mathews County Animal Control said that “King” bit a smaller dog, “Dixie,” on the deputy’s porch. Whiting refutes that.
Whiting said he ran to the deputy’s yard, where “King” and “Maui” were fighting. Whiting attempted to pull the two away from each other, and was bitten by each.
“[The deputy] was like yelling in the house ‘get my gun’ to his wife, his wife brought the gun out here, gave him the gun, he cocked his gun, shot in the air once,” Whiting said.
The two dogs continued to fight.
“And he points down and he shoots my dog,” Whiting said. His mother and stepfather ran over to the scene.
“I told the man, I said ‘what have you done? You shot my dog. Not only did you just shoot my dog, you shot my dog in front of my kids,’” said Michael Javier, Whiting’s stepfather.
According to authorities, the deputy did not break any laws.
Virginia law states: “if a dog or cat is attacked on its owner’s property by a dog so as to cause injury or death, the owner of the injured dog or cat may use all reasonable and necessary force against the dog at the time of the attack to protect his dog or cat.”
The Mathews County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that one of its deputies shot the dog, but would not identify the deputy. An internal investigation has been launched.
Javier told 10 On Your Side he plans to file a civil lawsuit.
“It’s far from over,” he said.
10 On Your Side went to the deputy’s home for comment, but no one answered the door.