Cheatham Co. Pet Owner Wants Answers About Dog's Death - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Cheatham Co. Pet Owner Wants Answers About Dog's Death

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by Heather Graf

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. - A Cheatham County man said deputies gunned down his dog, and then disposed of the body in the most disrespectful way possible.  Now, he wants answers about how it happened.

Brandon Reed said his pit bull, Kojo, disappeared last Tuesday.

"I had a couple dogs show up in my yard, and they were just kinda hanging out, my dog was out, and he was playing with them, and they were laying around and stuff," he said.  "Evidently, Kojo followed them back to their home."

When Kojo hadn't returned by Wednesday, Brandon started to worry.  That's when he learned a dog in the neighborhood had been shot by Cheatham County deputies.  He went to the house where that shooting happened to try to get some answers.

"She said she called the police because my dog was there and he was causing some type of trouble, or she felt threatened," Reed said.

Sheriff John Holder told NewsChannel 5 his deputies shot the dog after arriving on the scene, but said they did so because Kojo was being aggressive.

"My officers saw this dog come toward them, and my officers shot him," Sheriff Holder said.  "And we'll take responsibility for shooting the dog, but we would not have shot the dog if he had not shown some kind of aggression."

Reed said the news of his dog's death was hard enough to handle.  Then, he received another blow when he learned what had been done with Kojo's body.

"She said, well, when the officers shot the dog, they dragged it into the woods and threw if off the bluff, which is right behind their house," he said.  "There's no way I could've found it without rappelling.  So I mean, I don't even know where he is, I didn't even get to bury him."

Sheriff Holder insists that his deputies would not go that far.

"We left the dog there with the people who called us, and they said they would destroy the dog, bury the dog, I think is what they said," said the sheriff.

That never happened, which is why Reed is so upset.

"It was all handled poorly, the whole situation," he said.  "It's so disrespectful to Kojo.  And he deserved more."

NewsChannel 5 spoke to the woman who called 911 on that day.

She did not want to go on camera, but told us the deputies helped them carry Kojo into the woods, and to the top of that 150-foot bluff.

She said they simply placed the body near the edge, though, and somehow, it must have rolled off.

Sheriff Holder said his deputies would have called the dog's owner, if it had only been wearing a collar and tag.

Still, he said, this situation will prompt a change in protocol.  From now on, if forced to shoot a pet, deputies will be instructed to immediately turn over the body to animal control.

Reed just hopes it doesn't happen to anyone else.

"I mean, normally, when you think of losing a pet, you think about maybe he got run over or they died of old age," he said.  "This isn't the case.  Someone voluntarily took his life, and I never got to say goodbye."

Email: hgraf@newschannel5.com
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