Tragedy befell an Oklahoma dog Friday when it was killed by police for defending its injured owner following a traffic accident.
A Tulsa man is recovering in critical condition following surgery for injuries sustained when he was struck by a motor vehicle while walking his dog. According to police, Gregory Charles Sr.,48, was attempting to cross Highway 75 just south of the downtown area when he was hit by a 1995 Honda driven by Tracy Wallace of Tulsa. Wallace was not injured in the incident, but Charles suffered serious injuries and was debilitated when police arrived on the scene.
Charles was laying in the road in the southbound lane of 75 just past the 21st Street exit with his faithful dog at his side. When an officer attempted to assist him the dog became aggressive. Confused and obviously stressed by the incident, the dog was doing its best to keep watch over its guardian, and in the process, was preventing him from receiving medical assistance.
The officer attempted to use a metal baton to protect himself while approaching the victim, but the dog would not relent. Fearing for the injured man’s life, the officer was left with no choice: he withdrew his firearm and discharged it, killing the dog and allowing paramedics to rush to the aid of his master.
The incident raises obvious questions about current and future preparedness for emergencies involving animals. Was every possibility considered? Were there alternatives available to the officer before choosing to use lethal force? Given the urgency of the situation and the speed with which events unfolded, answers to those questions will likely remain elusive.