ROCKVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Outrage in the Parke County town of Rockville, where two on-duty police officers, admittedly, shot a dog two Fridays ago that'd been hit by a truck but did not immediately die.
Some of those officers' critics take issue with choices both men made in the moments after Otis was hit by a passing civilian truck on one of Rockville's busiest streets.
Despite this very public debate, the Rockville Police Department insists the two officers followed policy and procedure, did nothing illegal, and acted appropriately that evening of Friday, May 10.
"I'm almost 99 percent sure he'd be recovering" had those two Rockville police officers not intervened with Otis's fate, said Bryan Lewis, an eyewitness to the accident on Ohio Street right at sunset. "He might still be at the veterinarian's but he would still be recovering!"
Otis the dachshund-Chihuahua mix did die, though not as the result of injuries he suffered in his collision with that pickup truck, according to witnesses. Otis died at the hands of Officer Michael Pivowar in what police and witnessing Sergeant Jeff Ramey describe as a mercy killing for the suffering family pet.
"He wasn't moving," admitted Bryan Lewis, but who insisted Otis the dog began pulling out of his apparently severe injuries on-scene. Lewis even offered to scoop up the ailing dog and take him immediately to a veterinary clinic, assuming not only responsibility for the animal but also any vet bills attached, according to his account.
But the responding officers flat-out denied the good Samaritan access at all to the injured pooch. Sgt. Ramey further explained to News 10 that Bryan Lewis, according to the vet clinic's pay-up-front policy, would not have been accepted with the injured Otis "without payment up front because the animal was considered a stray," Ramey explained.
The veteran officer went on to further clarify, "This was the best option for the dog."
Both officers took the dog behind department headquarters and delivered a single gunshot to the animal's head, according to Sgt. Ramey, in what the officer still believes was a mercy killing for a suffering family pet.
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The Washington Police Department responded Friday around 2 a.m. to a complaint of a male subject being shot. The incident happened on Oak Grove Road in Washington near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
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