Dogs & Laws

Police Respond to Woman’s Call for Help, Shoot Her Dog While Attacker Drives Away

When a North Carolina woman called police for help after a frightening encounter with a strange man on her property, Cumberland County Police arrived and, instead of pursuing her attacker, shot her 7-year old German Shepherd, Astro.

Tamara Abraham’s house is up for sale. Around 6pm on Saturday, a strange man knocked on her door, offering to buy the house.

“He pulled up and was kind of belligerent and I could tell something was off,” she recalled. “And he wasn’t so much there to see my house because he wasn’t even talking- asking me about the house or the land. He was more saying, ‘I got the cash right here, honey.’ And ‘I’ll pay you cash for it. And oh, you’re mighty pretty!’ Whatever. I didn’t feel comfortable.”

Her loyal protector, Astro, chased the man back to his car, and Tamara and her dog ran into the nearby woods to hide while she called 911 for help.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office tells ABC11 two deputies responded to the disturbance call. When they got there, no one was in the driveway.

Sgt. Sean Swain, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said because of the nature of the call, the deputy who went up to the door already had his hand on his gun.

Astro

Astro

“The deputy had the gun in his hand,” he explained. “When she opened the door, the dog came through the door in an aggressive manner and he shot the dog. There’s not time to react.”

“I was just in the middle of saying, ‘Astro! Get- ‘ and I was gonna say get inside and I heard a pop. And they- they shot him,” Abraham explained.

The officer shot Astro directly in the face, the bullet entering his nose and exiting through his neck. He survived the gunshot and was taken to an emergency veterinarian for treatment.

No charges have been filed against the officer that shot Astro and the department maintains that he acted appropriately.

Police have no intention of searching for the man that approached and frightened Abraham at her home.

Astro remains in critical condition but is expected to survive.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Intense One

    Dec 14, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Double crap, I see this is an old story and my “insightful comments” will not likely get the time of day.

    Oh well, I would be interested to know if the dog lived and had a full recovery. I owned a beautiful german-shepard dog as well that was very protective and could easily have warranted such a sign as this person had, but luckily I wasn’t in a situation where I needed to do that. However, I was told that when a police officer arrived at a party we were having that I had stepped away from briefly, my wife had our shephard out on a leash for some reason, and I was told that the officer kept telling my wife to get our dog under control as he held his hand on his gun. Thankfully the leash held.

    If I had been there, I would have used it as a learning opportunity for each, in terms of showing the dog that the police were one of the good guys, and for the police to see how they might be able to quell it the next time,instead of showing anxiety that fueled the situation.

  2. Intense One

    Dec 14, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Crap, I failed to watch the video to get the full details of this dog shooting. I will therefore have to reverse my support for the shooting as I now believe it is one of those unjustified ones that give me cause for concern about the lack of police sensibilities.

    I had imagined that the dog just came flying out the door and lunged directly at the officer. I mistakenly thought that it was an instinctual reaction. Instead, I now see the Beware of Dogs signs everywhere, so good police practice requires that the “keeper” be advised to make sure her dog was put away or clearly restrained before opening the door.

    The police know what a good guard dog is supposed to do, and the Beware of Dog sign at the door lets everyone know there is guard dog inside, as the idiot who didn’t heed the sign found out in a big hurry. And even though the cops didn’t catch them like they should have, he will think twice before doing something so stupid, but hopefully he gets caught before that.

    Anyway, if it would have been the kind of scenario I had imagined, then my supportive comments would have held. But now that I know all the facts, we see a situation where the police probably will not admit to the bad procedure that was follow by the officer here.

    That’s unfortunate, because it would do the “keeper” good to hear the police admit they mishandled, as did the “keeper” who should have know that in keeping such an excellent guard dog around her, she should have never allowed it the kind of free rein that left the officer in a difficult situation. You just don’t know when a guard dog like that might decide to take the death leap at you.

    However, the fact that the dog did not

  3. Intense One

    Dec 14, 2016 at 12:12 am

    You all do realize that if anyone knows the savagery of a german-shepard on the attack, it’s a police officer. And you also know that the police have to make split second decisions in these situations, as this could have been any type of attacker.

    Sadly, the “keeper” should have realized that she needed to get the dog under control before opening the door to the police, who she seemed to clearly know had arrived. However, given the trauma of her situation, it’s understandable and one of those horrible culmination of events that isn’t always easy to anticipate before hand.

    And it does sound like the dog may actually survive, as it looks like the police then did everything they could do to get this animal the very best treatment they could. In fact, the dog probably got as good of treatment as a person who was accidentally but justifiably shot by the police.

    As police shootings of dogs go, this one looks like to me to be one of the most justifiable ones, although I have seen some really bad, unjustifiable ones where the police failed to step up. Those are the ones that get me down on police, because they do the same with people.

  4. Evan

    Mar 14, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I agree with Dog Diva. The woman should have controlled the dog if the animal was with her and she was opening the door. I am guessing she was opening the door for the officer. But the police dept is 100% wrong for not looking for the man.

  5. Jeanne

    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I can sorta understand why the cop shot Astro…. but to not even pursue the man that approached and frightened Abraham…. That I just Don’t understand !!!!!

    • tamara abraham

      Mar 7, 2016 at 1:05 am

      Well since you know why my dog was shot would you mind telling me???

      • Sherri

        Dec 14, 2016 at 9:57 am

        No Tamara, JEANNE, THE ASS cannot tell you why your dog got shot cause she’s just as mentally challenged as the cop is with nothing to do but troll pages like this and write assinine comments like that.

    • Charlie

      Apr 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Are you married to someone in this authoritarian, power tripping occupation? Just show them abject, quivering submission and they’ll only assassinate your dog. We The People must make police squirm and the place to start is at state legislative level to roll their powers back. The moment the word “threatened” surfaces in their speech, they should be banned from the occupation. The Fraternal Order of Police should be outlawed as a harmful secret society which is sort of out in the open in a quietly menacing way.

  6. Dog Diva

    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

    First it says she hid in the woods, then that she opened the door. If it was the latter, she should have held the dog or sequestered him before answering. But, either way, we need better training and use of non-lethal weaponry.

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