Mayor Resigns After Cop Kills Blind, Deaf Shih Tzu

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The mayor of Sturgeon, Missouri resigns after a police officer shoots a blind, deaf Shih Tzu who escaped his owner’s backyard.

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Following the incident that happened on Sunday, May 19, the City of Sturgeon Missouri’s Facebook page released a statement, publicly defending the police officer’s actions.

According to the statement, the Sturgeon Police Department (SPD) received a call about an injured animal at large.

When the SPD officer, identified by local news outlets as Myron Woodson, arrived at the scene, he noticed that the “dog was behaving strangely and displaying signs of possible injuries and/or what the officer perceived to be rabid behavior.”

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“Believing the dog to be severely injured or infected with rabies, and as the officer feared being bitten and being infected with rabies, the SPD officer felt that his only option was to put the animal down,” the statement read.

They then found out later that the dog, named Teddy, was not injured nor had rabies – it was blind and deaf.

Another statement was released as further defense saying, “The City believes that the officer acted within his authority based on the information available to him at the time to protect against possible injury to citizens from what appeared to be an injured, sick, and abandoned dog.”

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The public statements led to a massive public outcry, which led to Sturgeon’s mayor, Kevin Abrahamson, resignation.

The mayor’s departure from office was announced on Saturday, May 25, on the City of Sturgeon Missouri’s Facebook page.

Following the mayor’s resignation, Seth Truesdell becomes Sturgeon’s Mayor Pro Tem, or temporary mayor.

Truesdell released a statement saying, “The board of Alderman and myself do not agree with former Mayor’s statements and were not giving any notice before release.”

“Like you we were just as appalled by what we saw,” he continued.

Currently, officer Woodson is revealed to have been placed on leave and will remain on leave indefinitely.

Furthermore, an online petition to remove Woodson from his position has now garnered over 59,000 signatures (as of writing).

The Mayor Pro Tem revealed that he has reached out to the Boone County Sheriff for an investigation.

“I personally give my condolences to the owners of Teddy. I know nothing I do now or in the future will bring Teddy back,” Truesdell wrote.

Talking to KOMU, Abbey Harnish, Teddy’s owner, revealed that the dog, “couldn’t hear, like when we would call to him.”

She further explained, “He had a little bit of a tremor with his head. So whenever he would walk with a wobbly head, that’s just part of his neurological problems.”

Harnish also reveals that Teddy was being taken care of her ex-partner, Nick Hunter, when the unfortunate incident happened.

The Independent reports that Hunter is suing the city and Woodson for compensation in excess of $1 million for violation of his rights under the 4th Amendment.

In the complaint, Hunter alleges that the city failed to properly train, supervise, and discipline its officers who used unnecessary lethal force on a small, harmless dog, who is deaf and blind, no less.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, May 28, at the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri and is partially funded by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

You can watch the bodycam video here:

(WARNING! Some viewers may find the contents of this video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.)

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