Lawrence County Deputy cleared of wrongdoing in shooting of dog

DEADWOOD, S.D. — The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy who shot a dog on March 5th in Whitewood has been cleared of wrongdoing following a formal investigation by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Lawrence County State’s Attorney’s Office.

On the evening of March 5th, the deputy arrived at his residence outside of Whitewood at the end of his shift. After exiting his vehicle, a neighbor’s dog, described as a “large pit-bull mix” in a release from the sheriff’s office, left its property and rapidly approached the deputy while barking. The dog initially moved away when its owner was able to call out to the dog, but it then turned and ran towards the deputy a second time while barking.

When the dog closed the distance between them to a few feet, the deputy fired one round from his service weapon, striking the dog. The dog returned to its home where the owners and a veterinary tech provided medical care to the dog. The dog was able to recover at home.

According to both investigating agencies, based on the totality of circumstances the deputy’s actions did not violate official policy, and the deputy committed no criminal wrongdoing.

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