Man shot puppy in self-defense, authorities say

WASHINGTON — A man acted in self-defense, when he shot and killed an 11-month-old puppy as he walked through Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling earlier this week, according to Loudoun County authorities.

The owner of the 50-pound lab mix believes she was not given enough time to get her dog under control, before the man opened fire Tuesday.

Investigators with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Animal Services responded to the park Tuesday, shortly after 4 p.m., for a report of a dog shot.

The report concluded two large dogs, including Susan R. Smith’s dog, named Macie, were being walked off-leash, when they behaved aggressively toward the man walking in the park, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

The county report concluded the man was legally carrying the gun when it was fired in self-defense, and no charges will be filed against either party.

Smith said her dog was jumping in the air, but never approached the man, or ever barked.

Nina Stively, director of Loudoun County Animal Services tells WTOP, “The entire situation is really tragic all around, in part because it was preventable.”

Loudoun leash laws don’t permit a dog to “run at large, or remain unconfined, unrestricted or not penned up.”

“In Loudoun County, an animal must be under restraint at all times, and that includes in regional parks,” said Stively. “A dog park is a different story, but this was not a dog park.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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