Police use deadly force on dog; Owner wonders why - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police use deadly force on dog; Owner wonders why

Melmo Melmo
Samuel Lovato Samuel Lovato
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Samuel Lovato is still in shock as he recalls the terrible moment when he lost his beloved pet, Melmo, in an instant.

Police were called to a possible break-in at the house next door in the Brentwood subdivision.  

"I'm coming out of the house, I just got out of the shower, to go get my dog and I'm opening my door and I see a female cop. And she shot between five and six rounds at my dog," Lovato remembered. "I looked at her and I was shocked. And I said, 'I can't believe you just shot my dog,' and I proceeded to go back in the house." 

Melmo was a big dog, more than 120 pounds, but the animal was on a chain in Lovato's back yard. Lovato questioned the use of deadly force. 

"The officer was standing approximately right about here, about 30 feet away from where the chain ends."  

After the shooting, the dog's obviously distraught owner brought the animal for treatment at the Gulfport Veterinary Hospital, but it was too late. The wounds were too severe and the animal could not be saved. 

Dr. Jerry Spears is the veterinarian who treated Melmo.  

"From the wounds that I examined, it looks like it had a spinal injury which paralyzed him from the hind legs," Dr. Spears said. "Profuse bleeding from his mouth, plus some internal injuries, both of which led us to euthanize the animal." 

Police are looking into the incident, according to Lt. Craig Petersen with the Gulfport Police Department.   

"First, we need to conduct our internal investigation," Lt. Petersen said.  "I feel really bad for the gentleman and the loss of his dog, but we'll conduct the internal investigation."

He also said that officers have to make life and death decisions in an instant, including assessing threats from animals.  

"The officer has discretion in how to protect themselves in these situations, totally up to the officer based on the facts and circumstances of that particular case." 

But this case has left a hole in Lovato's heart that won't heal anytime soon.  

"I've had her for 11 years. Eleven years. She was a great dog, a good dog and she was just in her yard doing her job and just being a dog."

There is no timetable for when the investigation will be completed.  The officer involved in the shooting remains on active duty.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    It'll be a soggy Sunday across the coast

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:29:55 GMT

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>

    The WLOX First Alert Weather team is tracking another storm system that will bring the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday.

    More >>
  • Kids race across the finish line in annual Soap Box Derby

    Kids race across the finish line in annual Soap Box Derby

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:52 AM EDT2018-04-22 11:52:55 GMT
    More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)
    More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)More than 40 kids participated in this year's Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby in Moss Point Saturday. (Source: WLOX)

    Clear skies greeted families Saturday in Moss Point at the 26th annual Deborah Washington Soap Box Derby after the event had to be postponed due to torrential storms last week. 

    More >>

    Clear skies greeted families Saturday in Moss Point at the 26th annual Deborah Washington Soap Box Derby after the event had to be postponed due to torrential storms last week. 

    More >>
  • Coast cities host Earth Day cleanups

    Coast cities host Earth Day cleanups

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:41 AM EDT2018-04-22 11:41:15 GMT
    (Source: File)(Source: File)

    Earth Day is April 22 and community events are happening across the Gulf Coast this weekend to help clean up communities and be more environmentally-friendly. 

    More >>

    Earth Day is April 22 and community events are happening across the Gulf Coast this weekend to help clean up communities and be more environmentally-friendly. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:28:13 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:01:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:45:42 GMT
    adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>
Powered by Frankly