Bystander Traumatized After Bethel Heights Police Officer Allegedly Shoots Dog

BETHEL HEIGHTS, Ark. (KFSM) — An attempt to find the owner of a missing dog turned into a nightmare for one local woman.

This came after a Bethel Heights police officer pulled his weapon and shot a dog feet from where Gissell Ramirez was standing last Thursday (Aug. 15).

Ramirez says she's still shaken up about the incident. She says she was just trying to help a lost dog.

"We didn’t ask him to come do that to her we just wanted to help her," Ramirez said.

Ramirez says the dog wandered up to her porch a few days before and after multiple attempts to find the owner through Facebook she finally called the police in hopes they would help reunite the pet with its owner.

"The call log stated they asked her if the dog was vicious and she said it wasn’t," said Corporal Chasity Mahan with Bethel Heights police.

Ramirez says she was outside with Officer Stan Young for about a minute when he asked her to get her parents. She says the two of them walked to the porch, with the dog trailing behind, and then she heard the officer yelling.

"I turned back to see what was going on and I just see him pull his weapon and shoot her in her leg," Ramirez said.

Bethel Heights police say Officer Young claims the dog showed her teeth.

"Our officer said that he responded and the dog became aggressive and he had to unholster his duty weapon and shoot the animal," Mahan said.

Ramirez says that while the dog was in her care she never saw signs of aggression.

5NEWS spoke with a woman who says she is the owner of the dog, Sasha, and says her pet has never been vicious towards any person or animal.

"For him to say that she was showing her teeth or growling at him while I was walking and had my back towards him I just don’t understand," Ramirez said.

She says the day has stuck with her and that she has had a hard time sleeping after the incident.

"It was so hard for me because I saw her and she started crying and she just, and I saw her bleeding and it just really hurt me even though she wasn’t mine," Ramirez said.

The owner says Sasha is going through surgery to remove her leg because the damage from the bullet was so severe.

Ramirez says the entire situation was frightening and she plans to stay in touch with Sasha and her owner.

"I just feel like he shouldn’t have done that to her and also done it so close to me," Ramirez said.

The Bethel Heights Police Department says no action in this case can be taken until the chief returns to work in September and that it is unclear if the officer was wearing a body camera at the time.

The owner says if it is proven Sasha was not aggressive during the incident he would like to be reimbursed for vet bills.

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