RABUN, AL — A family feels violated after their home was subject to an unannounced, no-knock raid and their gentle family dog was shot by a deputy.
The all too familiar scenario played out in Alabama as it has thousands of other times throughout the country. Deputies intruded into a family residence with no knock, no announcement, and no permission. The family pet, curious and scared, approached the unwelcome strangers to investigate. The family pet was shot, and deputies’ justified their shoot with claims that the family disputes.
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Such was the experience of the Fretwells who live on Stacey Drive in Rabun, Alabama. On Friday, November 22nd, their aging family companion was shot by a Baldwin County deputy who had entered their home without permission.
“She’s gentle, she has a caring soul, she wouldn’t hurt anything and she never has, we’ve never had this problem ever,” said homeowner Angel Fretwell.
“I just think that maybe if they would have announced themselves or give it some kind of warning or anything at that point I think it would’ve helped this situation a lot.”
The Fretwells’ dog, Belle, is 16 years old, can barely get around, and has lost all of her teeth.
Upon hearing the four strangers in her home she approached deputies. They claim they had to shoot Belle for fear of their lives when she allegedly came after them. But the family disputes that claim. The Fretwells claim that Belle ran before she was shot in the shoulder.
After shooting their pet, deputies wouldn’t let the family care for her for over 1 hour.
They claim to have been searching for a relative of the Fretwells, who was not in the home.
Veterinarians say that Belle has a chance to survive, but will lose her leg and require a $1,000.00 surgery.
Between the use of no-knock raids on family residences and the cowardly shooting of family pets, concerned citizens have a lot to address with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. Only citizen activism can curb aggressive police tactics and acquire accountability.
“They have to be cautious,” Fretwell said to WPMI Local 15 News. “I just think that maybe if they would have announced themselves or give it some kind of warning or anything at that point I think it would’ve helped this situation a lot.”