Owner wants answers after officer shoots, kills dog

Sergeant says dog ran through hole in fence, threatened him, his family

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A San Marco woman wants the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to conduct an internal investigation into a sergeant who shot and killed her hound Friday night.

According to police reports, the dog, named "Goose," wandered into Sgt. Charles Shivers' backyard, circled his pool and threatened the officer and his two daughters' lives.

According to police reports, Shivers and his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 7, were swimming in their pool when Goose ran into their backyard through a 3-foot-wide opening in a fence. The dog's owner, Chelsea Pavish, said Shivers recently removed a palm tree and didn't replace that portion of fence. She also said she thinks it was unnecessary for him to shoot the family dog.

Pavish, 23, pointed out the spot by a side ladder in the yard where Goose was shot once in the head by the off-duty officer. Goose was newly adopted and had just moved in with Pavish's family a few weeks ago.

Pavish said she can't get over the manner in which her dog died.

"It just felt like it wasn't real," Pavish said. "If a dog dies because it's sick, it's a different experience. I'm just wrapping my head around the way he died."

According to police reports, Shivers said after the dog came in the yard it circled the pool with "an aggressive disposition," and he grabbed a rake to try to scare the dog off. He said waving a rake at Goose had worked in the past, but this time the dog would not back down.

According to the report, Shivers told his family to jump in the pool and then ran inside and grabbed his personal Glock 27 .40-caliber firearm with JSO issued duty rounds. Shivers told police he ran back outside, grabbed the rake again and started swinging it at Goose, but he said he slipped in soft dirt, lost his balance and fell to the ground.

According to the report, Shivers said Goose lunged toward him, and that's when he fired a single shot at the dog's head. Goose died at St. Francis Animal Hospital.

"I don't believe he ever tried to be aggressive," Pavish said. "If Goose was scared, he would have run away. I think the fact that he time to go inside and grab a gun, and the fact that he left his family in the pool while he went to get the gun just doesn't add up."

News4Jax knocked on Shivers' door to get his side of the story, but no one answered. News4Jax later received an email from the Sheriff's Office, requesting that all news media not approach the property on Landon Avenue, because Shivers‘ nanny was feeling unsafe and uncomfortable.

Pavish said she feels as if it's her against the police department, and she's worried about the safety of her other pets.

"It's been awful," she said. "I can't let my other dog into the backyard, and it could happen again. And for no reason, that makes it worst."

A spokesperson for JSO said under Florida law, a registered gun owner has the right to kill an animal if the person fears for his or life or is in danger. But Pavish said she wants an internal investigation, because she doesn't believe her dog was threatening.  

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