Investigation of fatal shooting of dog by Cumberland County sheriff's deputy leads to changes
More sheriff's deputies in Cumberland County will carry nonlethal tools to protect themselves from dogs, a change prompted by the recent shooting of a Hope Mills woman's pet.
Deputies also will undergo training on how to deal with animals in similar situations, said Ronnie Mitchell, a lawyer for the Sheriff's Office.
Mitchell said Wednesday the agency had completed its investigation of the May 23 shooting by Deputy Barbara Siau of the Child Support Enforcement Unit. Her status with the department remains the same, he said.
"There's no dismissal, no suspension or no demotion," Mitchell said.
Siau had gone to Dana Anderson's home on Annadale Drive looking for someone else when Gizmo, a Pekingese-dachsund mix, slipped out the door. Anderson said Siau kicked Gizmo, who weighed about 18 pounds, after he ran toward the deputy, and then she shot him. Anderson said she was trying to get the dog when the deputy fired without warning.
There were small bite marks on Siau's pants leg, Anderson said, but it was not known if any bites broke Siau's skin.
Deputies in the Child Enforcement Unit wore civilian clothing and carried a gun as their only weapon. Now they will wear uniforms that include stun guns, chemical sprays such as Mace and ASP batons, in addition to service weapons, Mitchell said.
"In this situation ... there were no tools that could have been employed, such as Mace, a baton or the Taser," Mitchell said. "We just didn't think it was a good idea to have a firearm as the only tool to be implemented."
Anderson said Wednesday that she was pleased to learn deputies will carry nonlethal tools. But she still believes she could have stopped Gizmo before the deputy fired, had she been given the chance.
"The thing that gets me, she should have gave me the opportunity to get him," Anderson said.