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Wounded dog’s vet bill reaches $10,000

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A Fishers woman said she can’t afford $10,000 in veterinarian bills after a federal agent shot her small barking dog at point blank range.

Speaking for the first time, Deborah Twitty told Fox 59 News that she fears retaliation by Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal William “Buzz” Brown after the federal lawman wounded her dog with two shots from his service issued .40 caliber Glock handgun.

Reese, a 7-year-old terrier mix, was shot just before midnight on February 26th at the Deer Brook Apartments in Fishers where Twitty and Brown were neighbors.

“She started to go around the corner and barked twice and then there were two shots and my mother and I just started screaming and I went around the back corner and I saw the man put the gun in his holster and then I realized he had shot Reese.”

Twitty said her 20 pound pet was in a harness and on a leash when she was shot from two feet away.

“I just kept saying, ‘Why did you shoot my dog? You shot my dog! You shot my dog!’”

Brown told Fishers police the dog was attacking him and he fired as he backed up, afraid the dog would bite him.

“He’s trained. He shouldn’t have been uncontrollable as far as this,” said Twitty. “I mean, my dog’s not big. If she barks at somebody, I just feel like he should’ve had more control. I can’t believe he didn’t’ accidentally shoot my mom.”

“I was afraid to say anything to him that he would shoot me,” said Patricia McConnell who had ahold of Reese’s leash when Brown shot the dog. “Yes, she barked. She scared him. He sacred her but…kick a dog. Don’t shoot it.”

Fishers police refused to charge Brown or seize his weapon from evidence.

The U.S. Marshals Service has launched a firearms review board investigation.

U.S. Attorney Kerry Forestal told Fox 59 News at the time of the shooting, “I trust Chief Deputy Brown’s ability to make decisions on a daily basis and I continue to trust him.”

After the shooting, Fishers police accompanied Twitty to VCA Cross Pointe Animal Hospital for emergency treatment and surgery to save Reese’s life.

“When this was happening I was telling her how much I loved her because I didn’t know if I was going to see her again.”

Surgeons removed Reese’s front left leg and shoulder and set her shattered rear left leg.

“She’s constantly shaking all the time. She whines. She has to be in a cage. She can’t move around very much. I have her gated off into a little section,” said Twitty as Reese curled up in her lap, the stub of her left front leg barely visible and her left rear leg in a yellow cast. “She can’t be with her family. She can’t sleep with us at night like she used to. She just cries all the time.

“I can’t sleep. My daughter’s afraid. I don’t want to be out at night,” said Twitty, her voice choking with tears. “I just don’t want him to do this to us.”

Twitty is talking with an attorney about suing Brown but the single mother who works two jobs is not hopeful for a settlement or even enough money to pay her vet bills.

“I’m afraid he’s going to retaliate just because this has happened and I just don’t want him to hurt us.”

91 comments

  • Marla

    I can not believe the police are not doing a MAJOR INVESTIGATION of this. The dog was on a leash. A small dog at that I thought officers were better trained. I guess it's a good thing it was not a 4 year old child coming around the corner screaming. It appears to me he has not been trained on evaluating before taking action. So sorry for your dog, but I think the public is in danger from this untrained officer!!

    • Guest

      Really? What if this dog was threatening a child or rabid? There is just one sided reporting on this story.

      • Dogs Shot by Police

        The dog was not threatening a child or rabid. Those hypothetical possibilities are irrelevant to this case. On your rationale the police could shoot every dog in town because any dog "might" be rabid or "might" "threaten" a child. The dog was barking a warning at a threatening stranger, not attacking anyone. There is no excuse for this shooting.

    • Bobert

      Sadly, there is no general police training for how to handle 'aggressive' dogs or any animal for that matter. The closest training they have to handle such a 'threat' is a firearm. Most people, including individual officers, fear aggressive dogs. For an officer, 'fear' is just cause to increase their 'use of force' to stop aggression. Uniformed officers have a utility belt with Taser or pepper spray in addition to their firearm. This agent was not in uniform and would have had nothing but a firearm. His actions and justification are being reviewed. Beyond that, everyone needs to call for animal handling to be added to the police training curriculum to prevent future tragedies.

  • schlagel

    Hope this Marshall gets charged and they should pay the vet bill. An innocent small dog what is it with the law enforcement they are getting worse by the second.

    • James

      Not all of us are bad. I myself am appalled at this. Totally inappropriate of the officer. Sorry, but cant condone shooting a small dog that might make you bleed. I sure hope there is a lot more to this story that is not being reported.

  • Bob

    FOX59 who is writing your stories tonight? Forestal is the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana. He is not the U.S. Atty. Your Twitter tweet on the baby found dead in the ditch said Fenwick was on the far westside. It's on the eastside! Your credibility is at stake!

  • guest

    Bob, no media has credibility anymore. I love how they put a spin on this story how the lady is now afraid of the Marshal retaliating. Oh please.

    • Nichole

      I know for a fact that she is afraid of this man. It took weeks for her to be convinced to go to the media for help.

      • Mettaintheworld

        Who in the HELL knows what he'll do …..are you serious people, he shot a DOG , a 20 pound dog on a LEASH. He is law enforcement, obviously they can do whatever the hell they want…it's his word against hers, I"m sure his buddies will side with him. I mean 'Bissard'…NEED I SAY MORE?!

    • martinstucky

      Wouldn't you be afraid of anybody that would shoot your dog twice while you were holding the leash? I am surprised nobody else was hurt by lead bouncing off the pavement. This guy needs to be shot twice and see how he likes it.

    • oldmarine81

      I am a law abiding 50yr old Marine veteran with absolutely no record. I do not trust law enforcement as far as I can throw them. I am fully convinced this woman would (and may still) face retaliation.

      Semper Fi

  • name

    You can always shoot the marshal at point blank and claim he was trying to bite you… if it works for him it should work for anyone.

  • joe matestee

    Just do a search online shooting peoples dogs is really common. The police show up for whatever reason and if the dog appears to pose any kind of 'threat' they shoot it. It is more common when they are serving a warrant and are full of adrenaline.

    • Gat273

      "any kind of 'threat'"

      Your doggie regardless of size walking on my property can be considered a threat.

      I'm just sayin'.

      There's more to this than meets the eye. Somehow I don't think the poor victim is really a complete poor victim.

  • Bigb73

    The Vet had to tell her what the cost would be before surgery even took place. She should have made the decision to euthanize the dog if she couldn't afford it. Regardless if it was on a leash, the leash apparently was long enough to allow the dog to potentially harm someone. I agree the Marshal with his background probably could have done a nice drop kick but then again, if the dog had bit the marshal and the dog had something wrong with it, then the Marshal is sitting in the hospital with whatever the dog gave him. Regardless how big the dog is, the smallest bite could result in major implications I see both sides here. Moral of the story, if you live in an apt complex, keep your pets on a TIGHT leash.

    • James

      Give me a break. You touch me and I can get whatever disease. So I guess I should just shoot you on sight. Get a brain.

      • Bigb73

        Really James – there are people who don't vacinate their animals nowa days due to costs. Come on man. Like I said earlier, I can see both sides of the argument and if I had to guess, this dog probably pissed this officer off at some point and this was his opportunity to (justify) if you want to call it that, get rid of this dog. Poor judgement yes.

      • Annie

        Other than rabies, which is extremely rare in domestic animals, there are no diseases that dogs get vaccinated for that are transmittable to humans. In fact, there are very few things dogs can give humans as far as illnesses go. Other humans, on the other hand, can easily make you sick with all kinds of nastiness.

        And a 20lb dog's bite may hurt, but it will hardly disable or majorly wound anyone larger than a toddler. If I can handle a dog bite (and I've had many, I work with dogs for a living) at 5'2" and 125lbs, I'm pretty sure this full grown man had little reason to be so freaked out that he automatically pulled his gun and fired without so much as stopping for a moment to assess the situation a bit more fully. He could easily have injured either of the women who were right behind this dog. This was not only an overreaction, it was a gross misuse of his firearm and his position as an officer of the law.

    • Smarter than you

      No retard its called emergency surgery. You don't normally get a detailed bill before that..

      • Bigb73

        I disagree – I have had a few dogs hit by cars and took them to the Vet. Both times they estimated the cost beforehand and as much as we love the dogs, they would not have lived a normal healthy life and the cost was outrageous. As tough as it was, we had them put down. I will agree some vets might be different in policies. I can see your point as well.

    • Mettaintheworld

      A 'TIGHT' leash. wtf does THAT mean? so you need to be scared to let your dog go poop on a 4 foot leash? give me a break. wish the dipsh*t woulda shot YOU instead of the innocent dog.

      • Gloria

        I don't agree whatsoever to what happened, but a tight leash – aka non-retractable – may have prevented the dog running after the officer. At the very leash, the owner would have had a better chance of puling the dog to her rather than the dog pulling out the retraction. I hate what happened to this poor little dog. I'm only trying to explain the leash situation.

  • guest

    Look if the Marshall was so quick with his gun, then he would have probably shot so many criminals by now. He does not do this, because with criminals come attorneys and his ass would be out of a job. Get an attorney and a really good one, he will be happy to pick up the tab. Shot a little dog!

  • guest

    What if a child was walking this dog? How irresponsible is it to shoot an animal that is on a leash that 2 feet away, the owner is attached!? Really ??, it takes 2-TWO shots to restrain this little dog from hurting you. I would hate to see this Marshall restrain a grown man!! I will be interested in hearing the outcome of this "investigation".

  • Guest

    There has to be more to the story. Was the dog chasing someone or running free? Did the dog bite someone? Come on Fox59, your one sided reporting is starting to look like Ch13.

    • Mettaintheworld

      the dog was on a leash. it BARKED at this 'decorated' law enforcement agent. with the track record of the coppers here in Indy…my guess is, he was probably a little DRUNK!

  • Brittany

    sasaleigh If you would of read the story it said he was on a leash. This is crazy what the world is coming to cops shooting at dogs that wouldnt hurt a flea. 😦

  • bearcat5

    If anyone else would have done this in Fishers they would have been arrested on the spot. This big bad "US marshal" should be held accountable for ALL the expenses as well as possibly being prosecuted for this careless use of a firearm in a residential area. Afraid of this small harmless dog, what a joke. The fishers police called it self defense. Defense against this little dog ha! Now if it had been a pit bull or some other dog attacking him that would be a whole different story but it was a small dog that was just barking. That's what they do they bark at times. He was quick to shoot makes me wonder about his integrity as a law enforcement official as well as his mental health. He needs to be made to pay all expenses incurred. I would hire a good attorney and sue his ass off.

  • Brandon

    I can promise you that nothing will come out of this. This officer is very political connected to the U.S. Marshal, who is also connected to Joe Hoggset. Read and view now, this will be swept under the rug and this will be the last you hear of this issue

  • local citizen

    The U.S. marshal should lose his job over this crap. If it were anyone else carrying a firearm they would have been arrested, but since it is one of the PD's own, it is classified as self defense. A 20 pound dog? Seriously? If a dog that size came after me I would laugh. The fact that it was in a harness on a leash as well makes me think that this "protector" is just someone who hates animals and used this as an excuse to murder an innocent animal. Dogs bark all the time, that's about all this dog can do. If it really tried to bite him, a small kick would be more than enough to subdue the dog. I think shooting the dog was a tad bit much. Screw this guy. I don't want him around me or protecting the local community.

  • Rick

    The "marshal" should be charged with firing his weapon within the city limits at the very least, whether or not he is law enforcement. For anyone to shoot a small animal such as this is way over the top of "self protection". Did he think the dog was going to gnaw through his pants?? If this is the type of individual that the Federal Marshals office is hiring then I would suggest that we all should be VERY afraid. Were there alcohol or drug tests performed on this "marshal" ?? If he discharged his weapon then he would need to file a report. Let's see it.

  • Gloria

    I am a rescue volunteer and animals are my life. I hate this happened. But what people do not realize is that retractable leashes are not the greatest type of leash to have. I have always used a 4 ft. and the very longest 6 foot. A retractable leash is not good for either situation. If another dog were to come attack your dog while you are walking it with a retractable leash, you could not react quickly enough to pull the dog away from an attacking dog…..just as a dog being walked on a retractable leash cannot be pulled away sufficiently. NO, I do not think that this 20 pound dog was a major threat to a person and definitely do not think that shooting a small dog TWICE is is reasonable. I hope that Reese will recover and pray that his mom receives assistance in the vet bills. Let a lesson be learned from this unfortunate incident…..retractable leashes are not good for walking your pet. This unfortunate incident proves that this type of leash is just not effective in protecting your dog.

  • Marine57

    Being in a harness and on a leash means nothing if there is no person holding said leash – the dog would be the same as running free.

  • Annie

    this is crazy my dog was very well trained she would come to me if i clapped my hands or snapped my fingers she was not go outside the fence. we could leave the gates open and she would stay there the whole time until we came back in her sight or she was called. it doesn't matter if the small dog was on a leash or not the cop (us marshall) should not have shot the dog. he needs to pay for the vet bill..

  • Rebecca

    The owner of this dog shouldn't have to pay the bill. The one that shot this poor dog should pay! He shot a dog that was on a leash. I can see him shooting someone in handcuffs. He needs fired!

  • Keith Swerling

    He had to shoot the dog? That police man should know by know that a bad dog is the owner's fault. Obviously if he had been a smarter officer he would have shot the lady first. If it were my dog, my wife would insist I be shot first. Then her, before our dog.
    Seriously though, I hope the dog and the lady can recover. I also hope the officer is terminated. As a civilian we shouldn't be worried about getting shot by a cop.

  • Eric

    Pretty poor shooting from that range. And what a waste of money…you can buy lots of dogs for 10000 dollars.

  • TheDMan4Ever

    This guy sounds like a tool…afraid of a 20 pound dog. I would hate to see him in action doing his regular duties. Probably one of the few dum**** guys who are on power trips because they have a little authority.
    Apparently he didn't take the few secs it would have taken to notice the LEASH…..because of the viciousness and apparent DANGER cause by this big ole 11inch high ankle nipper.

  • Guest51

    What was the Marshall doing outside at night? Peeping in windows? Probably was afraid he had been caught and overreacted.

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