LEOMINSTER (CBS) – Fifteen-year-old Kassidy Edwards can’t forget the horrific sound. “It was just two big loud popping noises right after each other and there was nothing after that,” she describes.
Those popping noises? Police shooting a dog who was hit by a car because they couldn’t find its owner or anyone to help.
Kassidy and her mother say they discovered the dog hit by a car on their Leominster street early in one morning this spring and called police for help.
They say the police responded right away and police began trying to find the dog’s owner or a kennel or an animal control officer to come take the dog.
Police say they did all they could, but because Leominster had no animal control officer, and no other neighboring community’s officer could help, they shot and killed the dog.
They say the dog was seriously injured and they called Fitchburg’s Animal Control officer to take custody but they couldn’t respond. They tried all of the local animal shelters and the dog was dying so they were advised as a last resort to shoot it.
Kassidy says, “It was sad, the dog got shot, they didn’t know what else to do so they had to take the dog into the woods and shoot him.”
State officials say this never would have happened if Leominster had an animal control officer. The say the officer could have come to the scene and taken the dog away.
MSPCA Chief Richard LeBlond says he was stunned to learn the City of Leominster would be without an animal control officer for a year. Chief LeBlond says, “In this age it shouldn’t be happening.”
We contacted city leaders for answers.
Leominster Purchasing Agent Greg Chapdelaine says they had difficulty finding someone to fill the role, but after a year-long search, they hired an animal control officer that started August 1st.
This comes as an effort to make these positions more professional and uniform from town to town is implemented.
By law, all cities and towns must designate an animal control officer every year.
The state recently strengthened its animal control Laws. Officers must have proper training, and state officials will be keeping a much closer eye on them.
Chief LeBlond says the stakes are higher than people realize, explaining, “All we have to do is lose a person’s life and what’s that worth.”
Kassidy hopes no one will have to go through what she did and hear the shooting of a dog.