Family wants answers after deputy shoots their dog outside home

HOUSTON - A family wants answers after they say a deputy from the Harris County Sheriff's Office shot their dog in front of their home.

The sheriff's deputy claims the dog was aggressive toward him and another deputy, but the homeowner said she's not even sure why they showed up at her home.

The homeowner, Evon Galicia-Viveros, said she rushed home from work Wednesday afternoon after she got a phone call from her daughter.

"My daughter was frantic on the phone, crying. She said, 'You need to come home, now.' I said, 'what's the problem?' She said, 'The sheriff's are here and they shot our dog,'" said Galicia-Viveros.

Galicia-Viveros said the dog named 'Chicana' was still alive when she got home, but it died a short time later. Galicia-Viveros said the deputy told her daughter they were responding to a burglary call the department had received earlier in the afternoon. The family wasn't at home at the time that call came in and knew nothing about the burglary report.

"They didn't even stick around for me to get home," said Galicia-Viveros.

According to the deputy's account of what happened, the dog was aggressive. The Sheriff's Office report said deputies had just knocked on the home's front door when they heard dogs barking. As they moved toward the gate, two dogs came charging at them. The deputy said he fired at one of the dogs from about six feet away, fearing for his and his partner's safety.

Galicia-Viveros said her daughter saw things differently. The teen had been inside the home, but went outside after hearing commotion.

"It was 15 feet away from the officer if not more. To me, that's not aggression," said Galicia-Viveros.

She said the dog had been with the family for six years and had never shown any signs of aggressive behavior.

Galicia-Viveros said she is now considering whether to file a formal complaint with the Harris Co. Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.