Mayor out after standing by Missouri cop who shot and killed deaf, blind 13-pound Shih Tzu

Outcry over a Missouri cop’s handling of a loose pet rocked the small town city council after the mayor initially stood by the killing of the deaf and blind toy breed.

“Was my dog a threat to you or anyone else?”

(Video: KMIZ)

On the evening of May 19, Officer Myron Woodson of the Sturgeon Police Department responded to a report of a loose Shih Tzu. After little more than three minutes of attempting to use a catch pole to restrain the 13-pound canine, two shots were fired to “dispatch” the pet leaving the distraught owner demanding answers.

“I filed a complaint formally with the city of Sturgeon and requested to speak with the mayor. The mayor did not contact me, instead, he posted a statement contradicting everything that me and the officer spoke of, saying the officer’s fear was Teddy having rabies,” 35-year-old Nick Hunter told KMIZ of his 5-year-old pet, Teddy, who he had informed the officer was completely deaf and blind.

Since an initial statement posted to the city’s Facebook page had defended the actions of Woodson, an update from Mayor Pro-Tem Seth Truesdell reported that as of Friday, now-former Mayor Kevin Abrahamson had resigned his position.

“On Friday evening, I was informed that the Mayor would be resigning and I would be assuming his role. The board of Alderman and myself do not agree with the former Mayor’s statement and were not [given] any notice before release. The first time any Alderman saw the body cam video was during the KMIZ news release,” read the statement. “Like you, we were just as appalled by what we saw. The actions of the Officer involved are not the values and beliefs of the residents of Sturgeon or the board of Alderman.”

“The officer involved was placed on leave and will remain on leave until further notice,” added Truesdell.

Body cam footage of Woodson’s response showed the officer attempting to use the catch pole that Teddy repeatedly slipped out of before he wondered aloud, “neck’s broken?”

“The officer was going strictly based on the fact that the dog walks with his head sideways due to him being deaf and blind,” Hunter told KMIZ.

Moments after suggesting he might use a blanket to scoop up the aimless dog, the officer drew his weapon and fired twice to kill Teddy.

No sooner had he done that, Officer Woodson was confronted by the nearby resident who expressed, “We have children here, don’t you think you should warn someone before you fire shots?” only to be waved off by the cop.

Not long after, Hunter arrived at the scene recording his angle of the conversation with the cop asking, “Was my dog a threat to you or anyone else?”

“I see a dog that is walking around blindly, I don’t know the dog’s blind,” Woodson could be heard defending his actions after contending that the woman who had reported discovering Teddy had requested “no contact” for a followup. “We don’t have a freaking animal control.”

“I don’t enjoy shooting dogs,” he added while Hunter made clear, “I can handle a dog dying if the dog was put down for a proper reason. He was not aggressive to a person, and not a harm to anyone.”

After the initial report of Woodson’s actions came out, Sturgeon’s social media had released a statement that read, “The city has reviewed the dispatch report and body camera footage regarding the recent dog at large incident. The city believes that the officer acted within his authority based on the information available to him at the time to protect against possible injury to citizens from what appeared to be an injured, sick, and abandoned dog.”

“The dispatch indicated that the person calling in did not want to be contacted, and had reported that the dog, though not in her view dangerous, was injured, maybe blind, and had mud and dried blood in its fur,” it continued. “The dog’s strange behavior appeared consistent with the dispatch report of an injured or possibly sick dog. In order to better equip officers for future animal at large call-outs, the city will be sending all officers to Boone County Animal Control for training and education, in hopes that this unfortunate situation does not occur again.”

Prior to the mayor’s resignation, Hunter had told KMIZ, “I’m hoping these officers and future officers can find a way to follow the fourth continuum, our levels, correctly versus going straight to lethal force. That should always be a last resort in dealing with any life.”

He had also expressed his intent to sue the city for killing his dog.

The entirety of the released body cam footage can be watched below via KMIZ:

Warning: Graphic Content

Kevin Haggerty


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