No charges in McDonough fatal dog knifing

Henry County Police and Animal Control officials say no charges will be filed against a man who says he used a knife to defend himself against a golden retriever Sunday.

McDONOUGH — The Henry County Police and Henry County Animal Control say no charges will be filed in a June 9 incident in which a McDonough man pulled a knife on a dog that he says was acting aggressively towards him and his wife.

The incident happened in the 100 block of Fisher’s Mill Drive.

“The Animal Care and Control Department conducted an investigation into possible animal cruelty charges,” said Henry County Animal Control Director Gerri Yoder. “After meeting with multiple witnesses as well as the dog’s owner, our department will not be pursuing charges.”

HCPD spokesman Capt. Joey Smith said, “No charges will be filed against the dog owner nor the complainant in reference to being attacked by the dog.”

The dog’s owner called police to report a neighbor had slit his golden retriever’s throat. According to a supplemental police report, a couple who lives down the street was walking on the opposite side of the street from where the dog lives. The dog, who had recently had a litter of puppies, was running loose. The neighbor told police “the dog came running out of the yard and across the street towards them.”

The neighbor told police he pulled his wife behind him, produced a knife, held out his hand and told the dog to stop, but it did not. He then “struck upwards and stabbed the dog in the throat.”

Another neighbor told police the dog had “a history of being aggressive and chasing people in the neighborhood.” The dog’s owner told police “he admits that the dog has gotten out in the past and chased people.”

Henry County’s animal control ordinance states that “No person shall be liable for killing or otherwise performing a cruel action on any dog when such person is: defending his or her person or property, or the person or property of another from injury or damage being cause(d) by a dog; or defending against injury or damage to any livestock, poultry or pet animal.”

The county ordinances also authorize Henry County Animal Control officers to pick up any vicious, unrestrained or female dog in heat if it is not confined.

The News has not been able to verify whether the dog was registered as either an official therapy or service dog.

Commenters reacted angrily to the post, threatening to kill the man who had cut the dog and urging others to call various law enforcement agencies to lodge complaints.

Attempts to reach the dog’s owner for comment were not successful by press time.

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