Animal control officer McClung has again overreached his authority and must be terminated. There are some facts not subject to debate that we all can agree are unreasonable and offensive:
1) Max the dog was shot on his own property and no one attempted to knock on the front door where his owner was right inside with her toddler. We know this because Max’s mother heard the gun shots from the other side of the door and a stain of Max’s blood remains on the front porch of her home for her children to inquire about.
2) The dog was shot SIX times. No one with any firearm training should have to shoot a dog six times. This charade was obviously not aiming to protect yourself or injuring a dog to get him to back off, it was malicious and excessive force in anyone’s eyes.
3) The dog catcher would not give the dog’s body back to his family. Why not? The family initially requested Max’s body back to give their young children closure and so they could bury Max’s body with no response to such request for days as reported by the article in the newspaper. Then the family went to the shelter to retrieve Max’s body only to be met with objection by dog catcher McClung himself and County Commissioner McClung. Why did the McClungs not want Max’s family to have their dog’s body? What were McClung and McClung going to do with Max’s body? Also, what gives the dog catcher any right to object to the family getting their dog’s body back? He is the dog catcher! Why would dog catcher McClung even care of the disposition of the body at that point? The whole situation reeks of impropriety and abuses of power.
4) McCung has been noticeably absent during every meeting regarding this event. Further, he has never offered any apology or word of condolence to the family about the loss of their beloved pet. Maybe he didn’t realize how much this dog meant to his family before he shot Max, but now that he sees what a tremendous loss this family endured, why doesn’t he give the family some semblance of concern? If he indeed acted out of fear for his life, why wouldn’t he just show up and tell his side of the story? Why does he appear to be hiding?
It is my vehement opinion that McClung should not be an animal control officer anywhere but I think everyone will agree that this man has proven that he should not be carrying a firearm as an animal control officer. It is not normal protocol for any animal control officer to carry a gun (unless you are working at a zoo and carrying a gun filled with tranquilizer bullets). Animal control officers typically do their jobs with pepper spray and metal poles. Further, dog catcher McClung is obviously too trigger happy to carry a weapon – shooting and killing one small dog six times on his owner’s property in a residential neighborhood – in his attempt to injure the dog.
Something has to change.