MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – A dog is recovering from injuries after being shot by a Marshal County Sheriff’s deputy during a training exercise with its K9, Dixie, Saturday.
Some of the images in this story may be considered graphic.
Nancy Aragon posted on social media about the incident which brought outrage from animal lovers across the country to Marshall County.
“The day it happened, we were shocked,” said Aragon.
WHNT News 19 covered a previous training exercise with Dixie in December 2019.
Hunting for scents like in that story is what she and her handler was doing on Saturday in a field off Red Barn Road in Guntersville.
The field, which is owned by the Marshall-Dekalb Electric Cooperative, is only about 50 feet from Aragon’s home.
During the tracking exercise, two of Aragon’s dogs ran over from her yard and interrupted the training.
Sims told WHNT News 19 that one dog was docile, but the other, Simba, started attacking Dixie.
“Trying to bite at our dog and our dog was trying to defend itself by biting back, had one handler. He couldn’t separate the dogs without him or our dog getting injured or our dog getting injured, so he fired one shot toward the ground to back of where other dog was at. And it struck foot of that dog,” explained Sims.
Sims told WHNT News 19 the dog that attacked Dixie had never been vaccinated for rabies until after this incident.
Aragon said she has lived at her home for 15 years and has never seen deputies training dogs in the field.
Aragon told WHNT News 19 that she initially told the Sheriff’s Office would pay for the bills, but was later told by the vet that there were only paying for the initial visit.
“It was bleeding, and he just kept licking at it, and so there was like a big hole in his leg. The vet said his paw was shattered, like really shattered,” explained Aragon.
Sheriff Phil Sims said because of her post on Facebook, they are getting threatening and vulgar messages.
“To go to social media and to address it the way it’s been addressed in this day and climate is wrong. There’s a lot of ugly stuff I can’t repeat that’s been said. I’m upset about it because you have a young girl who’s put something on Facebook that’s not totally accurate and we could have solved all this just by a simple phone call and conversation,” explained Sims.
Sims said he had agreed to pay for the veterinarian visits as long as surgery was not needed. But he was unable to speak with Aragon directly to tell her the message.
“I love animals. I’m an animal owner myself. I said take it to the vet and make sure there’s not any life-threatening injuries for the dog and we would pay for that part of it,” said Sims.
Sims told WHNT News 19 that it is against the law to allow pet dogs to run at-large. He also referenced the 2013 state law protecting police dogs during training and/or actual missions.
Dixie was not seriously injured in the attack.
Aragon has since removed the original post and posted an update on social media regarding the miscommunication.