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Small-dog owner who fatally shot large dog will not face charges, investigators say

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Investigators have concluded that the owner of a small dog who shot and killed an American Bulldog mixed breed will not face charges.

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon near Northwest 186th Street and 68th Avenue.

Police said a man was walking his small dog when the two were confronted by a larger dog that got away from its handler.

The big dog then attacked the smaller animal and its owner, according to police.

Police say that’s when the victim opened fire, fatally striking the dog. According to statements obtained at the scene, the bulldog was running “at large” when it aggressively attempted to attack the small dog who was being walked by its owner.

According to Miami Dade Police and Miami-Dade County Animal Services, who responded to assist police, the owner of the small dog “shot and killed the attacking dog in an effort to protect himself and his pet. There will be no animal cruelty charges resulting from this unfortunate incident,” the statement from investigators said.

Local 10 News asked the advice of Attorney David S. Epstein as to why he believed the decision was made to not charge the owner who shot the dog. Epstein, while not involved in this case, said it was, most likely, treated as a self-defense case.

“The reason is that it is a stand your ground case — that the individual who shot the animal was fearful that he was being attacked and that his life was in danger. He was then entitled to use deadly force to defend himself against this attack,” Epstein told Local 10 News.


About the Authors:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."