Loyal Dog Loses Life Protecting Injured Owner

Tragedy befell an Oklahoma dog Friday when it was killed by police for defending its injured owner following a traffic accident.

photo © Newson6.com

A Tulsa man is recovering in critical condition following surgery for injuries sustained when he was struck by a motor vehicle while walking his dog. According to police, Gregory Charles Sr.,48, was attempting to cross Highway 75 just south of the downtown area when he was hit by a 1995 Honda driven by Tracy Wallace of Tulsa. Wallace was not injured in the incident, but Charles suffered serious injuries and was debilitated when police arrived on the scene.

Charles was laying in the road in the southbound lane of 75 just past the 21st Street exit with his faithful dog at his side. When an officer attempted to assist him the dog became aggressive. Confused and obviously stressed by the incident, the dog was doing its best to keep watch over its guardian, and in the process, was preventing him from receiving medical assistance.

The officer attempted to use a metal baton to protect himself while approaching the victim, but the dog would not relent. Fearing for the injured man’s life, the officer was left with no choice: he withdrew his firearm and discharged it, killing the dog and allowing paramedics to rush to the aid of his master.

The incident raises obvious questions about current and future preparedness for emergencies involving animals. Was every possibility considered? Were there alternatives available to the officer before choosing to use lethal force? Given the urgency of the situation and the speed with which events unfolded, answers to those questions will likely remain elusive.

0 thoughts on “Loyal Dog Loses Life Protecting Injured Owner”

  1. The cop didn’t have a taser ? they couldn’t of called animal control ? I am sure who ever called 911 said the guy was walking his dog and got hit by a car. If I was that guy and found out the cops shot my dog I would just let them pull the plug on me

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    • I agree Julie this totally sucks..where was the damn taser. Cops are so cocky. Dont get me wrong I appreciate them so much but they
      need to use the brain God gave them …dont get me started!

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      • Did you ever think the cop didn’t have a taser. All don’t have them. And if u were laying there about to die and the dog is keeping you from getting medical attention, or better yet what if it was your child and they died because of this. You want to be so quick to call the cop cocky and run your mouth but you don’t think of all the circumstances or know exactly all the information.

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      • Jeannie I feel your frustration I LOVE dogs but as an officer of close to 30 years I can say tasers were not designed for dogs and can cause a horribly painful death to them.
        Just not a valid option.

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  2. I bet if the dog was a lab or a golden they wouldn’t of shot it. They would of found a way to get the dog away. This is total B.S

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  3. People… The only time I was ever bitten by a dog on my job as a Paramedic, it was by a Chihuahua. My achiles tendon was badly damaged and I was out of work for nearly a month… Whether it’s a Lab, Pit, Westie, Grayhound or Chihuahua… a protective dog is a danger to Emergency Personnel. If waiting for an Animal Control Officer is going to delay life-saving care, then sometimes the officer has no options. A Tazer would have bar-b-qued that dog, causing horrific pain, and lethal injury. Tazers are not meant for kids or dogs. Yes, there needs to be more specially trained Officers out there; For instance, K-9 teams should be trained and equipped. But if you think you’re going to find the funding to train the over 800,000 Law Enforcement Officers working in the USA, you’re sadly mistaken. There isn’t even enough money to outlaw Animal Gas Chambers and switch to more “expensive” lethal injection euthanasia in most states. Get involved in your local community. Lobby City Councils to train your Police force and raise money to help with that training. No officer WANTS to shoot someone’s pet. My heart bleeds for this cop, the owner and the dog.

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    • I totally agree with you. This man’s life was in danger and obviously since he is still listed in critical condition. It is a sad situation all round.
      If the officer would have waited for animal control to show up (and we all know how most ACO’s are) the man could have died and then the police department would have had a lawsuit from the man’s family.

      It is sad, but I believe the officer did what he had to do to save the man’s life.
      I would be sick if this was my dog, but I would be thankful I was still alive for my daughter.

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      • Baloney! I worked for 3 years as a veterinary surgical technician and during that time we worked with many aggressive dogs. How did we handle them? We used spring loaded noose poles and no one ever got bit or hurt and we were able to keep even the strongest dogs at a distance.

        Law enforcement should be equipped with these poles as part of their routine field equipment and police officers should be trained on how to work around protective dogs; something very few departments provide. During the time I worked as a technician one of our primary doctors was married to a local police officer and he knew exactly how to handle aggressive dogs without harming them. Why? Because his wife, our doctor, made it her mission to make sure he knew how.

        All I can think about now is how difficult it will be to tell this poor man what happened to his dog when he becomes coherent enough to hear the details.

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        • Pretty smart replying anonymously. I wouldnt want people seeing my name next to such stupidity either.

          Most police departments cant find the money to put enough officers on the street. So we should cut more officers to pay for the training and putting the equipment in every police car so we can have even longer wait time for real emergencies due to fewer officers available so we can save one dog every what ?? 20 years ??

          Good plan. Keep ’em coming

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          • You’re the one sounding stupid, but hey, at least you replied anonymously… Dogs are involved in plenty of emeregencies… The cop had other options, but sadly, some people just don’t care enough to consider them.

          • You are one to talk Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. If you are brave enough to make an insulting comment, then I would think you would be brave enough to put your name. If you have a better solution, I’m all ears. If not, why not try a little tact. I, myself, do not know the answer. I would hope that emergency personnel can come up with something better than shooting someone’s dog.

          • Many time a boss (sgt( will have special equipment in his car. It could also be the patrol supervisor. Don’t need the equipment in every car.

          • What a rude, angry person you are. FYI, dogs are involved in many other ways than what is presented in the specific story above (i.e. Retrieving dogs from cars and escaped dogs after a car accident where the dog is being protective or is running around in traffic, other instances where a dog may be protecting the owner who is in distress, restraining a dog for home/yard entry if there is an emergency, etc.). A catch pole would not only prevent the dog from being harmed, but it would also help protect the lives of the police officers especially when it comes to large, protective dogs. A catch pole costs approximately $100 and it doesn’t take rocket science to know how to safely and effectively operate one, so training would actually be minimal (i.e. a few hours, at the most, with an animal control officer). So, before you rudely comment, make sure you actually know what you’re talking about. Plus, I’m sure people would be more than willing to provide catch poles for departments free of charge. I know I would happily donate one.

          • “Pretty smart replying anonymously. I wouldnt want people seeing my name next to such stupidity either.”

            Are you explaining why you responded as anonymous? Just asking….

            I sure hope you don’t have a dog since you are such a compassionate person and all. You must be quite the problem solver. Thanks for such a positive response to a very sad situation. The end must always justify the means in your world. As for me, I want to work toward a change for the better, and not rag on the “can’ts” and “not possibles.” But thanks for your bright and sunny response.

            By the way, not sure why you think adding a $50 noose pole would bankrupt a police department but go ahead and stay with that narrow minded way of thinking.

        • It’s wonderful that your clinic’s vet did that training with her husband! Was the training ever extended to the rest of the department, or equipment provided? If so then that’s such a blessing. So many departments just don’t have the funding. Politicians have the Chiefs by the … umm “Male parts”… If more dog lovers got out there and raised money, and if more vets, and techs like yourself donated their time and skills to train their local police, less incidents like this tragedy would happen. Bless you and your vet for getting involved, and helping your local police help the pets in your community. Kudos.

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          • best answer on here.

            instead of attacking eachother we shoud all take that anger out to the streets to raise money and awareness!

        • Hindsight is always 20/20, always easier to comment on a situation when one is not directly involved in it.

          The officer would get criticized no matter what, shooting the dog, or delayed medical care to the owner, or even failure to protect the paramedics who are trying to help the owner.

          Poor dog, but a sad situation for all three involved, really.

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        • I totally agree with you! As for people commenting on not leaving your name! I don’t blame you, i didn’t leave my name either! There are some really strange people in the world today, and you don’t know what they could do. They might actually look people up, with their anger issues! Heads up, for everyone who believes that there could of been another way of handling this!

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        • Listen Anonymous, I too worked as a surgical tech for EIGHT years and also used the “pole” on countless occasions. This situation was do or die for the human being! I also understand that no wants to kill someones pet but if your family member was lying there with life threatening injuries and the paramedics couldn’t get to them due to an agressive dog, would you want them to wait for animal control or save your family member?? This whole story is ridiculous! A human life mus take presidence over a dog ,sorry.

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        • I completely agree with you and I actually included that suggestion in my comment above. Dogs are involved in many more situations than people think whether it’s protecting an owner that has just been hit by a car or retrieving/catching a dog who has been in a car accident. It doesn’t take rocket science to know how to use a catch pole safely and effectively and that would be one thing that I would, most definitely, be willing to purchase and supply to police departments. P.S. Don’t mind the rude idiot that commented on your post. Unfortunately, you just can’t fix stupid. 😉

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        • Equip law enforement with special equipment. Train law enforcement with special training. If the government spent the money to train law enforecement and have them equipped for any situation our taxes would be even more outrageous than they already are. Contrary to popular opinion not every situation can be planned for. And there is not an unlimited amount of money to spend on equipment. Yes this is an unfortunate tragedy. Life is full of them around the world every day.

          So Anonymous veterinary surgical technician, why don’t you make it your mission to train and equip every law enforcement officer like your boss did with her husband

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          • buy one less fighter jet, get poles for everybody.

            the money is there, its all in how its allocated.

      • My son is an ACO and he spends his days trying to rescue animals, feuding between land owners, and posting animals they have in lockups on fb trying to find them homes. He is underpaid, underappreciated and considered just a step up from a bum. He would have agreed that both sides are right. The man needed help and the dog should not have been shot. I understand about the pitbull issue. I was always a dog lover but terrified of rotties and pitbulls until this same son got a rottie and I lived with him (the rottie) for 10 yrs or so, and I fostered 2 pits for him also. I have daschunds (toys) that are meaner then those dogs are. Here its not unusual for police officers to kill dogs because they are just plain scared of them. We recently had a officer shoot a daschund because the dog was acting aggressive. Please if you have a fear of dogs acknowledge it and let someone who isnt handle the call!

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    • If saving me means killing my pet, then just stay the hell away from me. I don’t want your brand of “help”. That dog didn’t deserve to die any more than his owner did.

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      • Unfortunately, all Public Servants are trained in the “life before limb” philosophy of life-saving. Even in the field I have had to amputate a limp to free a trapped patient and save their life. It’s a horrific thing to have to do under a train or on a construction site. Working in NYC we were blessed to have an ASPCA ambulance to respond to situations like this. Not every community has those resources. So I have to say, let your anger motivate you!!! Have a fundraiser, speak at a town council meeting and let them KNOW how important the training is to you! Complaining here does nothing. We’re all just “preaching to the choir”.

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      • Not lethal at all… but is it enough to stop a determined dog? I’ve heard stories of dogs who had been shot still protecting their owners!

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    • Thank you for explaining why a taser would not be an option. I love dogs, but the decision to do what they did was based on the need to gethelp the victim who was critically i jured. I’m sure it was not easy to do.

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      • A tazer would not have been an option because it might have killed the dog was his “explanation.” Ummm what did the bullet do? How about firing the gun at its feet?

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    • “A Tazer would have caused lethal injury.” Maybe… but a bullet? Definitely. What an argument. We all understand why these procedures are set up. But I would not want a cop “serving and protecting” my community who could look at a dog who is merely protecting its owner (the victim here, not the criminal) and shoot it in cold blood, procedures or no. You’re telling me they had no other options in their cars? Rubber bullets? Billy clubs? Riot shields? Of course they did. Disgusting.

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      • so don, your saying, no matter the “procedure” he should have done something different? so the police officer should have been defiant to what he swore to uphold and do? (protect humans) OH WAIT. he should make his own rules, like the thugs out there? yeah, that makes SO much sense!

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    • I don’t know why people keep saying it is more money to put animals down with the needle. I wish I kept this survey I read where it was proven that the needle was cheaper than a gas chamber and safer. People get sick from the gas fumes.

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  4. Such a sad story, and while we all wish that a different solution could have been found, the excellent post above from the Paramedic was informative. Thank you for taking the time to explain some of the emergency protocol- perhaps you will help bring this matter to attention in your locale so that changes can begin to be made…

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  5. That asshole should have tried his pepper spray, tazer, animal control reinforcements or any of the other numerous ways officers are given to take down a living being without death. Just because it’s a dog doesn’t mean you have the right to murder them for a misunderstanding. I’d sue the pants off an office for killing my family member even if they thought that member was making it difficult to save me.

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  6. How much would it cost to supply each police car with one of those capture noose things (not sure what they’re called) that is essentially a rope loop on the end of a long pole. I’m pretty sure if they can be used on stray dogs and cats, not to mention alligators, they’d work on a dog who is protecting his person. As for one type of dog being more vicious than another in this circumstance, I’d hate to see what my pugs would do if I were the injured person. Under normal circumstances, their lick is bigger than their bite!

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