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Angel Fretwell describes her family’s 16-year-old senior dog, Belle, as gentle, with a caring soul that would never hurt anyone and never has. Now the family are looking for answers as to why their beloved furry family member was shot by Baldwin County Police at their home in Rabun, Alabama.
Last month, four deputies from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department were serving a warrant at Fretwell’s brother’s home. Upon entering the home, unannounced and without knocking, they were met by Belle, the family dog.
Belle is a 16-year-old senior pit bull, she has no teeth left in her mouth, and can barely get around in her old age. She’s lived to see generations of the family grow up and now the family are hoping she’ll live through being shot by police.
A spokesperson for the Baldwin Country Sheriff’s Department says Belle “came after them” and that “they feared for their lives” when she was shot. But, Fretwell told WPMI 15 News that Belle was actually trying to run away from them when she was shot in the shoulder.
What’s more, after Belle was shot, police would not let the family enter the home or provide care to the dog for another hour while the senior lay bleeding.
Belle was eventually taken to the nearby Bay Minette Animal Clinic for surgery, where veterinarians said she may survive, but will lose her leg.
Baldwin County Sheriffs are investigating the incident. Fretwell’s brother has yet to be apprehended.
It’s clear that police nationwide have little-to-no training in animal behavior and handling. This “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality so common with law enforcement that encounter family pets on the job MUST stop.