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Tyler Muzzi had just returned home after running out for lunch last Friday when he noticed a strange man wandering around his neighbor’s home and yard. A concerned and watchful neighbor, Muzzi called the homeowner who immediately contacted Cleveland, Mississippi police.
Cleveland Police arrived on the scene and arrested the strange man, who by now had entered Muzzi’s neighbor’s home illegally.
Believing that police were wrapping up and about to leave the scene, Muzzi was surprised to hear two gunshots. Unsure of where the shots had come from, he opened his front door where he was greeted by an officer.
The officer told him that his yellow Labrador, Miller, had been shot.
Miller had been tethered in the Muzzi’s backyard while police arrested the burglar next door.
The Clarion-Ledger reported:
According to Muzzi, the investigator who shot the dog told him that he felt threatened and didn’t see the leash, but later on the Cleveland Police Chief Charles Bingham told Muzzi and his wife Bethany that the investigator did see the leash but had the right to shoot the dog since he felt threatened.
Muzzi said his dog 1-year old Labrador was very friendly and had never shown aggression to anyone, including strangers.
When he went into his backyard, Muzzi found Miller, lying on the grass whimpering, while several officers stood over him, doing nothing. Muzzi ran inside for towels to wrap his dog before rushing him to an emergency veterinarian.
Sadly, one of the bullets severed Miller’s spine. He did not survive.
Muzzi’s wife, Bethany explained on Facebook, “we thought by having our year and a half old lab puppy in our backyard on a line, he was safe. We are devastated.”
The officer that shot Miller is on administrative leave.
While an investigation continues, the Muzzi family hope that their tragic loss and the attention it receives will lead to reform within police police, so no other dogs needlessly die at the hands of police.