Family Marches in Protest of Dog Shooting

Family members of the owner of a dog shot and killed April 30 in East Wheeling marched on the City-County building Monday to protest the shooting.

Tisha Terry and her mother, Donna Terry, along with other family members, carried protest signs to draw attention to their cause.

“We want justice for Shadow,” Tisha Terry said. “We want (the officer who fired the shot’s) badge. He should not have a gun.”

The officer shot and killed the dog near the intersection of 14th and Jacob streets after responding to a complaint by a person who said a large, aggressive dog was chasing him. The officer alleged he found the dog on 14th Street and as he was exiting his vehicle the dog charged after him. As the dog reportedly continued to charge and moved to a few feet from the officer, the officer fired two shots to put the dog down.

Several neighborhood residents looked on and shouted disapproval about the shooting. An unidentified man arrived on scene and wrapped the animal in blankets before loading it into the trunk of his vehicle and driving away.

At Monday’s march, protesters said they had conflict with the officer in the past concerning the dog. Donna Terry said she was fined for allowing the dog to run loose in the city and she turned the animal over to another family when she could not take care of it.

Tisha Terry said she filed a complaint against the officer in April 2013 after finding him prowling around her mother’s home.

“He said he was looking for the dog,” she said. “He even emptied out my mother’s mailbox to find out who lived at the address. He was very aggressive toward me.”

Tisha Terry said she is waiting for a police department review of the shooting before she moves forward for more action.

Wheeling City Solicitor Rose Humway-Warmuth confirmed Donna Terry had been cited in April 2013 for allowing the dog to run free. On April 26, 2013, City Manager Robert Herron declared the dog to be vicious pursuant to city ordinances. He ordered the dog be registered with the city. It was also not allowed to be outside without being on a leash or chain, not even in a yard area, and had to be accompanied by a person if it was outside.

The order further called for the owner to be familiar with other restrictions such as muzzling the animal when walked and a requirement that a fence be erected to contain the dog on the owner’s property. Terry said the city has no recorded episodes of the dog biting or attacking a person.

Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger is waiting for the results of the investigation before making any statements or decisions on the matter.

“I ordered an administrative review of the incident on the day it happened,” he said.

“Once that is done, I will review the facts before I make any decisions related to this matter.”