BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- The Boone County sheriff is investigating after a dog was found shot dead and improperly disposed of on the side of a county road.
The sheriff says a driver hit and badly injured the dog and then to put the animal down, someone shot the dog one time in the head. That isn’t illegal. In fact, the Boone County sheriff says he would’ve done the same thing.
“I can tell you I would have personally euthanized that dog. So whoever did this did the right thing,” said Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen.
The problem is the sheriff says whoever shot the animal left the dog in a blue tote on the side of the road, instead of alerting authorities.
“There has not been any laws broken here,” said Nielsen. “The only thing that was done wrong was the way the dog was disposed of.”
The sheriff says improperly disposed of animals happens far too often in his county and part of the reason is the county doesn’t have an animal shelter.
The sheriff says the shooting may not be a crime, but hopes the case is a learning experience for the public.
“You can call your police department and make a report and call us and tell us you hit a dog and someone can address the issue instead of leaving it there. I think people are afraid they’re going to get in trouble for hitting an animal,” said Susan Austin with the Humane Society for Boone County.
Austin says dead animals should never be left lying on the side of the road following an accident, but admits Boone County has always been hampered by not having a publicly funded animal shelter to contact in those situations.
Fortunately, the Humane Society has finally bought a building and will open a shelter next month.
“To have a physical shelter means we have many more options. We have a real place for people to come and be educated,” said Austin.
In addition to the new Humane Society shelter, the sheriff has hired the county’s first animal control officer part time this year. He hopes those changes make improper disposal of animals far less common.
“Having our own Humane Society shelter is something that’s been needed for a long time and now it’s about here,” said Nielsen. “Now we can dispose of these animals in the proper way and leaving it alone the road is not the proper way.”
The sheriff is using a chip reader to try and find the dog’s owner. In the meantime, he plans to bury the dog himself properly on his own property.