PALMETTO BAY, Fla. – A Palmetto Bay man shot and killed one of two dogs that were attacking his cat Thursday morning in his backyard, police said.
The resident heard a commotion in the backyard of his home on Southwest 180th Street about 6:45 a.m. and saw two dogs attacking his cat. He went outside and said the dogs tried to attack him, so he opened fire.
One dog was killed. The other dog ran off.
Neighbors said they heard multiple gunshots.
"My dogs were barking," Marsha Matson told Local 10 News. "I heard commotion in the backyard of my neighbor's house, and suddenly I heard five or six gunshots within yards of where I was, and I grabbed my dogs and put them in the bedroom and I called the police."
Another neighbor, Sheila Frazier, said she is "aghast" about what happened.
"There are other recourses you can take to get rid of the dogs," she said.
When police got to the home, they found one dog dead in the backyard.
They said the other dog ran to Palmetto Bay Park, where park employees comforted her for hours until Miami-Dade Animal Services arrived.
"She was limping over here and then, when she laid down, she was trying to get back up, but I guess she realized she couldn't and she was just crying. You could tell she was in a lot of pain," Stephanie Fernandez, who helped the dog, said.
The resident, whose cat was killed by the dogs, was not injured. He told Local 10 News that he feels sorry for the dogs, but blames their owner.
Both dogs were taken to the county animal shelter, where the surviving dog was evaluated and underwent surgery.
"She had a bullet hole on her left leg and she was just, like, bleeding slowly, but she was a very good dog -- very calm and not aggressive at all," Fernandez said.
"That really disturbs me," Matson added. "All he had to do was pick up the cat if that was the problem or use pepper spray or call animal control or something. I don't think he needed to empty his gun on dogs."
Animal Services officials said they first picked up the dogs in January after they were found roaming the streets.
The owner claimed the dogs, and paid for dog licenses and rabies shots.
Animal Services said the owner will be cited $165 per dog for having a dog on the loose.
Police said the man who shot the dogs will not face any charges.