Marshals unaware of condition of dog shot in attack

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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The Troup County Marshal’s Offices says the condition of the dog that was shot during an attack on a deputy marshal is unknown at this time.

The dog was shot on May 17 during an animal control call in the area of Oakridge Dr. The complainant told deputy marshals that a white dog was running loose from a residence on West Point Road. The marshal’s office was familiar with the dog due to a previous complaint.

“The deputy went to his house to talk to him about the other dog running loose when the other one came from around the house,” Chief Marshal Jorge Olmo Novoa said.

The dog then lunged at the deputy marshal in an attempt to bite him, according to a press release sent by the county. According to a press release on the incident, the deputy then attempted to retreat to his vehicle, but the dog then attempted to attack again, so he shot the dog in self-defense.

The marshal’s office was eventually able to make contact with the owner and recover the injured dog. The owner then took the dog to a veterinarian to receive medical attention.

Olmo Novoa said he is currently unaware of the condition of the dog. He said he has tried calling the owner of the dog but has not received an answer.

Marshals say they have since received reports of the original dog still running loose.

Olmo Novoa said if they catch the dog running loose again they will take it to the shelter and the owner will be cited when they pick it up.

“That’s what we wanted to do to begin with, to notify them that their dog is loose. We need to find it, bring it home and tell them this is your second and last warning,” Olmo Novoa said.

Olmo Novoa said it’s obviously not their goal to hurt any animals.

“We understand how people love animals. I’m an animal lover. People treat their animals like me. I treat my dogs like they’re my child. We don’t want to hurt them under any circumstances. But at the end of the day, if we get pinned down — if it’s us or the dog — we’re going to do what we need to do,” Olmo Novoa said.

“There’s a lot of dogs running at large, and that’s a big problem in Troup County. People just let animals run at will,” he said.

Olmo Novoa said they frequently find dogs just running loose in the back roads of the county. He said people get tired of being responsible for them and abandon them somewhere, especially with pit bulls.

“Those dogs, they get hungry, they get tired, they get scared, and they show up at [your] house,” he said.

People then try to scare them away and their defense mechanisms kick in, and they are liable to attack, Olmo Novoa said.

Olmo Novoa said he is uncertain of the breed of the dog that had been shot, but he does not believe it was a pit bull.

“Pit bulls are not a bad breed. People just make them that bad,” he said.

The marshal’s office does have less lethal options, like tranquilizer dart guns, but they don’t really use them for animal attacks because they are not fast enough. They typically use the darts when they are trying to trap an animal, Olmo Novoa said.

“We try to work with people. We can’t predict the behavior of the animal or how the animal decides to escape containment,” Olmo Novoa said. “But in the end, the owners of the animal are responsible for what the animal does.”