Farmville family stunned that officer fatally shot Golden Retriever

Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-15 16:50:21-04

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Va. -- A Farmville family is searching for answers after a Prince Edward Deputy shot their eight-year-old Golden Retriever, named Party, ultimately killing him.

"The dog was at the same level of the officer when he fired," said homeowner Stephen Carwile, and indicated that the deputy was standing at the bottom of the deck.

The incident happened June 27 while the family wasn't home.  A deputy was serving Carwile a civil warrant when he said he felt threatened by the dog.

"I come home to blood all over the place all over my porch," said Carwile. He called the sheriff's office after he couldn't find Party, then saw his blood stained deck and the warrant.

"The lieutenant called me and stated that my dog had tried to attack the officer and the officer had shot my dog."

The Prince Edward Sheriff's office put out the following press release:

On June 27, 2014 a Prince Edward County Deputy was charged by a vicious dog at a residence while he was attempting civil paper service. The Deputy tried to get away from the dog but the animal lunged at him so he fired his weapon as required by training. Animal Control was notified seeking medical assistance for the dog, but the animal later died.

The sheriff's department said the incident was investigated by the Virginia State Police, however a state police spokeswoman said that was not the case.

"The resident did speak with Sgt. King, who explained that the Virginia State Police cannot investigate an incident involving another law enforcement agency without that agency's formal request, or the request of the Attorney General, commonwealth's attorney, or grand jury," said state police. "You will need to contact the sheriff's office for details concerning the incident."

Party's owner, Carwile's 14-year-old stepson Prescott Stewart, said that's not the dog he knew, and he can't imagine the dog lunging at anyone.

"It's like a void that has been put inside of me I can't describe it; he was just that kind of dog that if he could be human, he could be my brother -- it's just hard," Stewart said.

A necropsy shows Party was shot twice, and died of blood loss.


"Anything after the first shot the dog was disabled, the second shot he was just shooting to be cruel," said Carwile.

The Carwiles said Party suffered on their deck for more than an hour before before he died in the care of the dog warden.

"I know he suffered, he was trying to get in the house," he said. "He wanted one of us to open that door and let him him so he could be saved."

"I still have bullet holes in my house, blood on my porch and bullet casings laying in my yard that I have to look at everyday and it just keeps going through my mind without anybody doing anything about this," he added.

The Carwiles plan to file a civil suit.  They want this case investigated and the deputy who killed their dog terminated.

"I want to see him loose his job and never tow a firearm again," said Carwile.

"I just hope he thinks about it and realizes he did wrong," said Stewart.