Greene Co. Commonwealth's Attorney Shoots Aggressive Dog, Concerned With Slow Response Time
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Greene County's Commonwealth's Attorney is concerned with the response time it took for the Sheriff's Office to arrive at his home, which led to him having to shoot a dog.
Matthew Hardin says it took deputies in Greene County about an hour to respond to a call at his home. In that time, what started out as a stray dog on the loose turned into a vicious attack on Hardin’s two Shih Tzus.
All of the dogs in question will be OK, including the one shot by Hardin. He says he was home late Friday morning when he noticed the stray and tried to find the owner, but couldn’t.
Hardin says the dog followed him into his house and attacked his two dogs. One lost its eye and the other had severe puncture wounds on its back.
“It was horrifying,” Hardin said. “There was blood everywhere…a lot of it ended up on me.”
Hardin says an animal control officer should have been on duty that day.
"I'm a very privileged person here in Greene County and if I can't get service from the Sheriff's Office, if I can't get them to respond in my neighborhood, I think that what the ordinary citizen is going to go through will be a lot worse," Hardin said.
Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith disagrees with Hardin. He says one animal control officer was off Friday and the other was in training, so they had to call another officer in to assist.
"I think it was an appropriate call,” said Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith. “The first call came in; there was nothing serious going on. It was just a dog on the loose call….nothing to get very excited about, and we were on the way over there when the incident happened."
Smith says the complaint is “absolutely political,” and Hardin thinks so too. Both men are running for re-election next week.
"I would say we're supposed to put public safety ahead of politics and I would hope that everyone would do that," Hardin said.
Hardin is also frustrated with a Facebook group post about the incident, in which a Sheriff's Office employee confirmed the incident happened. Smith says they investigated the post and found no wrong-doing.
Smith says deputies responded within 30 minutes of the first call. An investigation into the shooting is on-going.