It was a seemingly ordinary Saturday afternoon, as Michael Paxton of Austin, Texas, was playing Frisbee-catch with his dog Cisco. Little did Paxton realize it would be the last time he would play with his 7-year-old Blue Heeler.
Suddenly, Austin Police Officer Thomas Griffin approached, pointed his weapon at Paxton, and told him to put his hands in the air.
Griffin was responding to a 911 domestic disturbance call, but he arrived at the wrong address.
With Paxton’s hands in the air he was unable to restrain Cisco. Paxton then watched as his dog ran at the Griffin, who then allegedly shot the animal dead at point-blank range.
The slain dog’s owner claims he yelled for the officer not to shoot and Cisco wouldn’t bite.
“We’re sorry that the dog owner lost his dog over the incident,” Austin Police Department Sgt. David Daniels said. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but the officer was basically in retreat, and he fired his weapon in self-defense.” Daniels claims that Griffin is distraught over the incident.
According to neighbors, Cisco was a gentle, friendly dog who never showed aggression or attacked anyone.
Since the shooting, Paxton started a Facebook page to get justice for his dog; it has more than 70,000 Likes. The Austin Police Department has also heard from the public via phone and email, with demands for the officer to be removed from service.
One email stated: “Shoot a man’s dog here in Texas and you’ll have a storm at your door.”
Officer Griffin remains on full-duty; an internal review of the incident is ongoing.