Story written by: Julia Matter
GEORGIA — A Georgia deputy shot and killed a police dog after the dog mistakenly bit the deputy instead of the suspect, according to the Paulding County Sheriff.
Deputy Cpl. Brandon Kilgore, his partner and K-9 Verro responded to reports of a domestic dispute at 14 Trotters Way Dallas, Georgia Friday.
Kilgore saw the suspect trying to get away and went after him, according to the county sheriff. Verro was left in the car as the criteria had not yet been met to release to K-9.
Wanting to protect his handler, Verro was able to squeeze through a partially open kennel door and make his way to the front of the SUV where he inched through a partially open window and follow the deputies foot pursuit.
As more deputies arrived on the scene to assist, none of the deputies were aware that the K-9 was out, said the county sheriff.
“As the chaotic scene unfolded, no Deputies were aware K-9 Verro was out of his vehicle. Had Corporal Kilgore known K-9 Verro was loose, he would have advised the other Deputies to stop the foot pursuit and taken command of K-9 Verro,” said the county sheriff. “Shortly after K-9 Verro exited his vehicle, he observed a Deputy sprinting away from him. In the absence of his handlers direction, K-9 Verro could not differentiate between Deputy and suspect. K-9 Verro apprehended the Deputy by grabbing the back of his leg and followed his training by biting and holding until he was commanded to release.”
After not being able to remove the dog from his leg, the deputy followed protocol “drew his service weapon and shot and killed the K-9 Verro,” according to the county sheriff.
“It wasn’t until a short time later that other Deputies realized that the deceased animal was K-9 Verro. Unfortunately, it was too late for K-9 Verro and he passed away on the scene,” said the Paulding County Sheriff.
“The emotional grief everyone is going through, including the Deputy who was bitten, has been overwhelming,” said The Paulding County Sheriff. “Please keep Corporal Kilgore, his family, the K-9 Unit, our injured Deputy, and the Sheriff’s Office in your prayers as we all go through this difficult time.”
Police said the injured deputy is on the mend. The suspect was taken into custody.