Dog shot, killed by off-duty deputy at Clay County park

'That was my baby,' says owner of 1-year-old dog named Parker

LAKE ASBURY, Fla. – A dog was shot and killed by an off-duty deputy last weekend at a public park in Lake Asbury, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy said he felt threatened, an incident report shows. But the Jacksonville Beach woman who owned the dog said there's is no excuse for what he did.

Miranda Abbas, the owner of the 1-year-old dog named Parker, was away on vacation and her friend was watching Parker when the incident happened Saturday morning at Ronnie Van Zant Park on Sandridge Road.

"Getting the news, I felt, like, literally sick," Abbas told News4Jax on Friday. "Just to keep thinking about it has been really hard."

According to the incident report, Abbas' friend who was watching the dog said she took Parker's leash off so he could run and play while they were at the park. The report shows she said that Parker got excited when he saw Clay County Sheriff's Office Lt. Mark Cowan and his dog and ran toward them.

Cowan said he was walking on a trail with his dog when he saw the woman and Parker about 300 feet away and Parker began "charging at a full run" toward him and his dog, according to the incident report. Cowan said he thought Parker looked like a pit bull that appeared to be about 40 to 50 pounds. Cowan said he yelled at Parker to stop and the dog did not. "In fear for his safety and his dog's," the report states, Cowan drew his own personal handgun and fired.

Abbas described Parker as a happy, playful and loving puppy.

"I don’t think that anybody in a million years would be concerned that somebody’s going to shoot their dog for running around off leash," she said. 

According to the incident report, an animal control officer who responded to the scene said she would be submitting a report, but was not going to pursue charges.

A Sheriff's Office spokesperson told News4Jax that, "This was not an on-duty case, so we do not have a statement to provide."

Kelly Krehbiel is the founder of Fur Sisters, the nonprofit that rescued Parker from a shelter. 

"It’s just not OK," Krehbiel said. "If you’re afraid of a 40-pound puppy, then you probably shouldn’t be in that line of work."

Krehbiel has known Parker his whole life since she lives across the street from Abbas.

"Never, never an aggressive-type behavior -- I never saw anything like that out of him," Krehbiel said. 

She said most of the commenters on her Facebook post are just as outraged as her. 

"I think there’s a lot of steps that could have been taken before you pull your gun out and shoot the dog," Krehbiel said. 

Nothing will bring Parker back, Abbas said.

"It’s a piece of me that’s gone now," she said. "That was my baby."

About the Author:

Storytelling is at the heart of what Alicia loves most about television news and she is thrilled to be a part of the News4Jax team.