Dog shot at Carrabelle beach, no charges filed

Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 11:45 AM EST
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 12, 2020

CARABELLE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Carabelle community is wishing for more action after a dog was shot on the beach last week.

On Thursday the Carabelle Police Department responded to a dog shot near Carabelle Beach. According to the police report, Willard Leroy Smith III was walking on the beach when the dog started running towards him, not on a leash. Police say Smith fired one shot, in fear for his safety. Because Smith has a Florida Concealed Weapons License, CPD say no charges are pending.

The owner of the dog is asking to remain anonymous, but witnesses said they saw the man running, asking for help.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Mark Sholtis, who was there at the time. "We hear this man just hollering for help and he comes up over the dune, he's all bloody and stuff, he said his dog had been shot."

Sholtis remembers seeing the dog with a bullet in its head. He's been going to Carabelle Beach for decades, but now he doesn't feel safe. It's a sentiment felt by many homeowners in the area.

Signs have been posted near the beach entrance saying dogs need to be leashed, but residents say the leash laws are not always clear in Carabelle. Many people say they have never had an issue with dogs in the area.

Crag Baker owns a vacation home near the beach, and said while it's a tragic situation, it doesn't deter his family from walking along the beach. He hopes all dog owners take more caution in the area.

"I feel very sad about it," Baker said. "But there's no doubt, ever since time began dogs and people play together, and sometimes they hurt each other by accident."

The dog is recovering and is expected to be okay.

We reached out to Carabelle Police but did not hear back.

By: Tracey Belizaire | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 12, 2020

CARRABELLE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Carrabelle Police Department says a dog was shot on the old Carrabelle beach on February 6.

According to the department, the shooter was walking on the beach as he saw a leashless dog running towards him. The shooter told police he feared for his safety, so he fired one shot at the dog, leaving it wounded.

The dog was taken to Tallahassee for veterinary attention and is now recovering at home.

CPD says no charges were filed

The shooter has a Florida Concealed Weapon License, police say.

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