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A deputy says he was in fear for his life when he shot and killed Scarlett, a 9-year old Labrador retriever who, at the time of the shooting, was tethered to a run-line strung between two secure poles in her own backyard.
York County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonathan Reed visited the South Carolina home of Alice Renee McGlone last week, at the request of McGlone’s daughter, a resident Virginia, after she had been unable to contact her mother for several days.
When deputies arrived, no one was home. There were no cars in the driveway and no one answered their knocks at the front door. When Deputy Reed noticed a broken window screen at the side of the house, he went to investigate.
According to The State, after Reed began knocking on the window, that’s when he saw the dog “charging” and “snarling with bared teeth,” with its head lowered. Reed says he saw that the dog was tethered, but that “the leash was long enough to allow the dog to reach me before I could get away.”
Reed further explains that he didn’t have time to either retreat or use less lethal force and “instinctively drew my handgun and fired once, striking the dog in the top of the head.”
Reed wrote in his report that as he walked toward the rear of the house, he saw no indication that a dog was present. However, in addition to the two poles and run-line that Scarlett was tethered to, there was a dog house in a back corner of the yard and a sign that read “Bad Dog.”
McGlone said the “Bad Dog” sign was posted to the dog house as a joke by one of her relatives because the 9-year old Lab, who she adopted from a shelter at 6-weeks old, was a total sweetheart and best friend to her two cats, Rhett Butler and Tara.
After reviewing the recording from Reed’s microphone worn during the incident, Captain Allen Brandon believes the deputy had no choice but to protect himself.
McGlone and neighbors that knew the dog, including young children that often played with her or helped to watch her while McGlone was away, can’t understand how the officer felt to threatened that he needed to fire his gun at her.
“It was a fairly nice day and it was good for her to be outside,” McGlone said. “Something told me to just bring Scarlett in and I didn’t. And I beat myself up for that.”
In the video below, McGlone’s friend, Ron Montana, who helped to bury Scarlett, shows the backyard and insists that the shooting was not necessary: