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Milton dog death under investigation

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
September 28, 2010
— The Milton Police Department has asked the Rock County Sheriff’s office to investigate the actions of police officers and a public works employee who Sept. 21 led a vehicle pursuit of a stray, bloody dog through neighborhoods and a city park on the city’s west side.

The dog, an 8-year-old Shar-Pei, got loose from its owner’s home on Milton’s west side while the family was at work. It was euthanized after suffering injuries forcing open a window at home and later being struck by a city vehicle that was pursuing it.


The investigation was prompted by concerns of the dog’s owners over how the incident was handled, Police Chief Jerry Schuetz said in a news release Monday.


The Gazette was unable to reach the Rock County Sheriff’s Office for comment Monday. Schuetz declined to discuss details of the incident, but he said last week officers were trying to prevent a bloody, unidentified dog from coming into contact with people.


In a report released Friday by the Milton Police Department, police said a city employee “bumped” the dog with a city-owned truck while pursuing it through a city park in an attempt “to slow the dog down or to stop it so that we could catch it.”


Police called a Rock County Humane Society official to the scene. The humane society official, who decided to euthanize the dog, said the dog was bleeding, in shock and having trouble breathing.


The humane society official, and Dale Beaty, the dog’s owner, both have said they were unaware the dog was struck by a vehicle until a full police report was released Friday.


The results of a necropsy Friday showed the dog had massive lung injuries similar to those an animal would suffer after being hit by a vehicle.


The family always left the dog’s collar and tags off in the house, Beaty said.


Beaty said he’d contacted Mayor Tom Chesmore about the incident on Friday, asking for a police investigation. He said Chesmore indicated he’d spoken with Schuetz, and that officials who’d pursued the dog said they’d hit it accidentally. Beaty said he’s skeptical about the explanation.


“If it truly was an accident, if the dog darted out, and they tried to stop … why wasn’t it noted in the police report?”


Beaty said he’s satisfied the city scheduled an independent investigation, but he said he wonders why police didn’t initially inform his family or the humane society that they’d struck the dog with a vehicle.



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