Chihuahua Lunged, Tried To Bite Before Faulkner County Deputy Opened Fire, Report Says

A Faulkner County sheriff’s office report released Tuesday provides a deputy’s account of what happened before he shot a Chihuahua in a Conway man’s yard.

A dog shot by a Faulkner County sheriff’s deputy (Photo: Whitney Arnold)

A woman reported that two loose dogs had been “charging toward her and trying to bite her” as she walked around the neighborhood south of Middle Road on Friday, according to the report. The woman said she’d tried to ward off the dogs with a stick and, at one point, had pulled out a gun to protect herself.

Deputy Keenan Wallace reported that when he arrived, the Chihuahua started “growling and barking aggressively.” Wallace said he was speaking to the dog’s caregiver, Doug Canady, when it “lunged toward me in an attempt to bite me on my leg.” Wallace fired once at the dog with Canady standing feet away, the report says. The dog was hit in the head. The dog survived.

Canady posted a video of the incident that went viral, sparking outrage over the shooting and leading to headlines in The Washington Post, USA Today and other national news outlets. Wallace was fired. Sheriff Tim Ryals said it did not appear that Wallace had violated any laws or sheriff’s office policies, but that Wallace had fallen short of the standards of the sheriff’s office.

“Deputy Wallace fired his service weapon that injured an animal while in close proximity to a citizen,” Ryals said in the statement. “I believe there were numerous opportunities to de-escalate the incident.”

A deputy who responded to the call with Wallace filed a similar account of the shooting. Deputy Bryan Adkinson reported that the dog was “barking and acting aggressive” when they arrived and that he used his Taser to scare the animal away. He wrote that the shooting happened after he’d left the area.

Canady, who was issued a citation for having a loose dog, said in an interview that the dog “wasn’t a threat.” A child from the neighborhood described the dog as “friendly” and “sweet.”

Wallace had worked for the sheriff’s office since April 2017. He was dog handler at the sheriff’s office.

Faulkner County prosecutors were awaiting investigative files to determine whether Wallace will face charges.

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