A four year old pit bull was shot and killed by Horry County Police on Monday. The family says the dog wouldn't harm anyone, but police say they are responsible to protect the public if they're feeling threatened.
Monday morning, Horry County Police responded to an animal call in the Forestbrook neighborhood.
According to Horry County Police Interim Chief, Saundra Rhodes, "The neighbor was concerned about the safety of himself and his grandkids and because of a possible hole in the fence, the dog could get through, and so the officer wanted to go back and observe the threat itself."
While the officer was in the backyard checking on the hole, Shadow, the pit bull, came through the hole.
"Based on the officers instincts, and based on what the report says, the animal was coming to him in a manner that made him feel threatened," said Rhodes. "And so the officer unfortunately in a matter of seconds, you don't have time to determine whether or not this animal was coming to play with you, but it's my understanding that the animal was not coming up purring or that the animal was coming snarling towards them and the officer did not have an opportunity to gage the friendliness of the animal."
Shadow's owner Jason Carvalho says the dog was like a family member, "he was like one of my children."
Carvalho says he can't believe that his dog would go after anyone.
The police report says that 4 shots were fired, and Carvalho feels like that is too many, but Rhodes doesn't agree.
"I don't believe that 4 shots are excessive," said Rhodes. "I think that most of the time when people lose an animal one shot would be considered too many for them."
Shadow's owners plan to file a complaint with the Horry County Police Department.
Rhodes says she welcomes the chance to sit down with the owners and discuss the incident.
Shadow's owners have set up a facebook page about their pet's death.