Puppy shot and killed by Hamlet officer, family says action unjustifiable

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There are two different stories being told about why a family's dog in Hamlet was shot to death by a police officer this weekend.

Neighbors have been putting up signs and flowers around the Schoff house in Hamlet in remembrance of a 10 month rescue dog named Rosco.

On Saturday afternoon Hamlet Police officer Kyle Hinds shot the Schoff’s boxer puppy six times.

The officer stopped by the house to ask about a car parked nearby with a license plate registered to a woman wanted on an arrest warrant.

The homeowner, Kenny Schoff, stepped out onto the porch to answer any questions with his puppy, Rosco.

The dog started to bark and that's when the officer shot the dog.

“Within five seconds of Rosco coming out, he pulled his gun and shot him three times in the back without saying can you please put your dog in the house or anything,” explains Kenny Schoff. “He didn’t' say one word. He just pulled out his gun, just pulled out his gun and shot my dog, without being bite.”

In a statement from police the officer says he believed the "pit-bull" was going to bite him after he lunged twice. The officer also says he tried to explain the situation and apologized several times.

A neighbor, Jean McNeill, witnessed the shooting while working in the yard, “I just saw blood and guts in the air and then I saw, by then I stood up, I was in shock and I saw Kenny holding his head and going why did you shoot the dog?”

The puppy was shot a total of six times. Rosco was hit three times on the porch, twice on porch steps, and once in the head, after the family requested he be put out of his misery.

The officer said in a statement that after the dog was hit the first three times, he continued to attack him. That's why he fired two more shots.

The police department has cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, claiming he had no other option but to protect himself.