Chase the dog in Sparta, Missouri
The police chief of Sparta, Missouri is cleaning out his office today after a controversial decision led to his resignation. Chief Andrew Spencer drew national outrage after he responded to a call about a stray dog and later shot it in a cage:
According to a report posted by Spencer on the department’s Facebook page, but later taken down, on Nov. 10, Spencer and a citizen volunteer responded to multiple reports of a loose pit bull.
The report says Spencer eventually obtained a “catcher pole” and crate and forced the dog into the crate. Spencer then tried and failed to find a shelter to take the animal, and decided that he would need to locate “the cheapest vet to destroy the dog at the cost of the city.” The report then says that while attempting to contact a veterinarian, Spencer was dispatched to a rollover crash at Sparta High School.
“Due to the higher priority call and the imminent destruction of the dog,” Spencer writes in the report, “I decided it was best to destroy the dog and respond to the accident.”
The report said Spencer then took the dog to the department’s firing range, where he shot it once in the head before responding to the rollover crash. He later returned and buried the dog, the report said.
No word on why he couldn’t simply leave the dog in the kennel to respond to the call and then return to the office. The family who owned the dog was distraught. They’d recently moved to Sparta were shocked nobody tried to contact them, especially since the dog was microchipped:
“The only reason our dog would charge at anybody would be to play,” says Womack, “He was just such a playful little pup. He had no aggression. He didn’t know what that was.”
Womack says her 16-month-old dog was not aggressive, and the police chief should have contacted her before deciding to shoot her pet. Spencer says the dog didn’t have tags on to identify him. Womack says Chase was microchipped because she adopted him from Rescue One in Springfield.
“I want justice,” she says, “I don’t think he deserves his place. If he can’t even do what’s right with an animal, would he do what’s right with a human being?”
The family was asking for Chief Spencer to be fired. They started a Facebook page called “The Story of Chase” to tell their story and share photos of Chase with their family, especially their infant son. The Sparta Board of Aldermen had been scheduled to meet this week to discuss firing Chief Spencer because he violated a city ordinance which demands dogs be held for 5 days, but he beat them to the punch, offering his near immediate resignation.
Reposted from DailyKos