Labor Day morning Lee Gushman's 15-year-old German Shepherd mix was shot and killed in Ocean Isle Beach by a Brunswick County Animal Control officer. "What I want people to know is your dog can be right down the street and get shot by animal control officers because they have made a bad judgment call," said the dog’s owner Lee Gushman. Stoley, the German Shepherd, was hard of hearing, tired and had poor eyesight, but the officer thought the dog might be rabid because he was walking around in circles, biting the air. "Our dog is 15 years old and we couldn't walk him on a leash anymore because he just had a stroke and he normally stays right around the porch. He was walking in circles lost," said Gushman. Walking near the edge of a neighborhood pond Stoley fell in. When it appeared Stoley was going to drown the animal control officer shot the dog. Gushman added, "He shot him without checking out whether he was a dog or a … He was our pet for 15 years. We have 5 children who are now missing their pet." David Stanley, the Environmental Health Director for Brunswick County, told WWAY that it appears the officer was not sure if the animal was a coyote or a dog. In fact, the initial paperwork listed Stoley as a coyote. "He said had I known this was your pet I would not have done this,” said Gushman. “He said was sorry. He said it was a judgment call and he saw him disoriented. He thought he might possibly have rabies. I said, ‘Were you going to send him off to have him checked?’ No, because he had not been a threat to anybody.” With Monday being a holiday, the animal control officer is required to file a full written report to the county health department Tuesday.
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