Dog survives bullet after being shot by local off-duty police officer

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WELLSVILLE – A dog that was shot by an off-duty Wellsville police officer was being cared for at a local vet hospital in Hermann on Friday.

Police Chief Rich Daniels said the police officer involved was walking with his pregnant wife down the 400 block of Clay Street shortly before the incident occurred at around 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

“He was scared, he was in fear that his wife, who is eight-and-a-half-months pregnant, was going to be attacked by the dog,” he said.

Crystal Chalfent, the owner of the dog, Jayda, said she wasn’t home at the time but a neighbor saw everything that happened.

“Jayda broke the cable she was tied to and took off running into my backyard and then went into my neighbors yard,” she said. “When she walked across their yard, the officer shot her right then.”

Daniels said the department’s investigation found that the dog was unattended and unleashed. The off-duty officer reported the dog was being aggressive and said he made multiple attempts to keep himself and his wife safe.

Pictures indicate the bullets hit Jayda’s front leg, went through the lining of her stomach, and came out the bottom of her belly, then hit her foot.

Chalfent said, “It’s wrong to be able to shoot an animal because she’s barking at you, he says he felt threatened for his life, but, as a police officer, there has to be better ways to take care of it.”

Daniels said the incident could have been easily prevented.

“It’s unfortunate the dog was injured, but this could have been prevented if the dog was properly leashed,” he said.

KOMU 8 News received a tip Friday morning in a Facebook post from Chalfent.

The post stated: “This is a boxer who has never one time been aggressive, growled or even hurt any person. She has never been mean.”

Chalfent said Jayda is in a lot of pain but is in stable condition. Jayda is being cared for at a vet hospital in Hermann to have a rod inserted through her leg to hold her bones together.

Daniels said he expects there will not be any charges. James Burlison, the Wellsville city attorney, will be reviewing the case.

A Go Fund Me page said the owners will need financial help to pay Jayda's vet bills.

"She is a great dog, good with kids, and she did nothing wrong at all. There is no way that they can afford to pay for all the surgeries and vet bills that are being incurred for this tragedy," the page said.