SPALDING COUNTY, Ga — The shooting death of a Boston terrier in Spalding County has sparked outrage from the dog’s owner and an investigation into what happened.
Spalding County Marshal Smart Web responded to a home off state Route 16 in Griffin on Tuesday afternoon at around 3 o’clock after a complaint came in about roaming goats on the property. Within minutes, a 6-year-old dog named Allison was dead.
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“She is very sweet,” said owner Isabel Avellaneda Galarza. “Actually, she was very sweet.”
Allison meant even more to Galarza’s 13-year-old son with special needs.
“In the wintertime, they always sleep together because they feel warm together,” she said.
Galarza says when she realized that Web and an animal control officer were on her property unannounced, she and her 16-year-old sister and her son all rushed to try and get the dogs inside the house. She says the dogs were not being aggressive, but she wanted to keep them safe.
As she was trying to grab Allison, the Boston Terrier, she says Web shot it while she was just two feet away.
“He never talked to me,” she said. “He talked to me after he kills my dog.”
In a statement, County Manager Steve Ledbetter says, “Ms. Isabella’s pit bull aggressively ran toward the marshal in a way that led the officer to believe he was going to be attacked. The marshal took measures to protect himself from the dog attack.”
Galarza denies that her dog was aggressive. She also says she doesn’t own a pit bull.
Web became Spalding County marshal in March of this year, tasked with helping with code violations and overseeing animal control.
In the moments after the shooting, he is heard in Galarza’s video saying, “Ma’am, I am not finna get bit by anyone’s dog.”
Requests to interview Web were unanswered.
County Manager Ledbetter says it appears that Web was justified in the shooting. The Spalding County sheriff says his investigators are beginning a fact-finding process right now.
Prior to taking the job with Spalding County, the GBI launched an investigation in January into criminal allegations made against Web while he was the police chief in Woodbury. A GBI spokesperson tells Channel 2 Action News the case remains active.
For Galarza and her family, she says she wants an apology. She also wants accountability.
“I’m worried about this guy to come in another house and, you know, kill another dog,” she said.
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