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Palm Coast Sunday, Jul. 1, 2018 2 weeks ago

Man shoots and kills unleashed dog, saying it attacked as he walked his puppy

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The dog and another dog from the same household had a history of getting out of their yard, according to an FCSO case report.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A 69-year-old Palm Coast man shot and killed an unleashed German Shepherd mix dog that attacked as he walked his puppy the morning of July 1, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office case report.

The man, James Armes, said he was walking his puppy on Westchester Lane, where he lives, when two German Shepherd dogs approached "in an aggressive manner," according to a deputy's summary of the Armes' statement.

Armes turned around to go home, but one of the two dogs came after him and his puppy near 33 Westchester Lane and tried to bite him and his puppy, he later told a deputy. 

Armes drew a Ruger LCP .380 from his pocket, "crossed his body with it and discharged the weapon at a downward angle into one of the dogs that was adjacent to his left calf," shooting the dog in the head, according to the case report. The other dog ran away. Armes was licensed to carry the gun.

Armes' wife and a friend who was at Armes' home when deputies arrived told a deputy that although they hadn't seen the incident that led to the shooting, they'd previously seen the two dogs "running loose and possibly acting in an aggressive manner," according to the case report. 

The dogs' owner, 39-year-old Michelle Wisher, said the dogs that escaped from her fenced backyard on Westcliffe Lane had gotten loose in the past. 

She said that after the dogs got loose, her daughters "ran out front of their residence and heard a loud pop in the area," according to the deputy's summary of her statement. 

Wisher drove out looking for the dogs and found the one dog, a 5-year-old female named Caroline, dead.

"After obtaining all parties' statements and the prior history of Caroline getting loose and being aggressive, James' actions were being determined to be in self-defense," the Sheriff's Office case report states. 

“This is an unfortunate, tragic neighborhood situation," Sheriff Rick Staly said in a Sheriff's Office news release. "While we never want to hear about the killing of a pet, pet owners must be responsible and watch over their animals. If you know your pet to be aggressive, it is your responsibility to keep them on your property or on a leash.” 

 

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