DAVIE, Fla. - Scooby, a Doberman pinscher in training to be a therapy dog, was shot and killed in his owner's front yard on Thanksgiving by a cyclist carrying a gun.
According to Davie police, the man who shot Scooby said the 2-year-old dog had attacked him. But the dog's owner, Dan Abou, said Scooby would have never harmed anyone.
"It's very alarming that someone would be riding a bike with a gun at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day," Abou said on Friday. "That man came here looking for trouble. I still can't believe this."
Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle said that the incident remains under investigation and that the shooter has not been charged. The man's name was not available on Friday. Engle said the man had a permit for the weapon.
"He told us the dog attacked him and he feared for his life," said Engle. "The dog was not on a leash, but we are still looking at what exactly happened."
By ordinance in Broward County, dogs that are outdoors must remain under direct, physical control of a person using a leash, cord or chain or be kept behind a fence.
Abou said he was cleaning his garage when he heard a gunshot followed by a dog's whimper outside. He said he saw Scooby take a few steps and collapse.
"He gasped and he literally died in my arms," the owner said.
Abou, 24, acknowledged that his dog had been playing in the front yard without a leash while the family was preparing its Thanksgiving meal.
He said most of the residents in his Whispering Pines cul-de-sac neighborhood typically allow their dogs to roam free with no problems. He described his dog as a lovable and friendly pooch who was great with small children.
Abou adopted Scooby from the Doberman Rescue League of Broward in July. The group's president, Grace Brinkman, said the dog was in the initial stages of training to be a therapy dog at senior citizen centers.
The group had found Scooby roaming the streets and looking emaciated, said Brinkman.
"I can't believe he gets rescued from the streets of Miami-Dade only to be shot and killed in Davie," Abou said.
Thursday's incident was at least the second time this year in Broward that a resident shot and killed a unleashed dog.
In February, Fort Lauderdale resident George Doughty told police that his neighbor's dogs, Little Red, a pit bull, and Cleopatra, a Rottweiler, were loose and charged at him and his Rottweiler. Little Red died at the scene, and Cleopatra survived.
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