Investigators say officer was justified in shooting dog during house check

A New Madrid County family mourns the loss of their pet after they say an officer walked into their home and shot him multiple times for no reason
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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MATTHEWS, Mo. (KFVS) - A family is mourning the loss of their pet after they said an officer walked into their home and shot him multiple times for no reason.

A witness to the shooting said the officer should have his badge taken away, but police say no one, including the dog, should have been in the home.

Susan Arnold was in the house when it happened, and said she felt terror when her back door swung open and a police officer shot and killed a dog at a home in Matthews on May 30.

“He shot him again and I screamed at Savage to get the heck away,” Arnold said.

Arnold said after shooting the dog named Ricky Bobby, nicknamed Rico, the officer made her go outside.

“I couldn’t even go in there where Ricky Bobby was,” Arnold said. “I couldn’t even sit in the room, he just died in there by himself.”

Aaron Pointer is Ricky Bobby’s owner. He arrived home minutes later and found his dog dead.

“When I got up here, I heard her tell me the dog had been shot,” Pointer said.

Arnold said she’s not sure why the officer even showed up.

“He said nobody was supposed to be there,” Arnold said. “I said, ‘Dude, I have every right to be here.’”

But, according to Matthews Police Chief Kenneth Dalton, that’s false.

“The city has given their mother 180 days from June something of last year to get this house corrected,” Dalton said.

Chief Dalton said the house had been condemned over a year ago and no one is supposed to live there.

“We got a marking in the officer’s office of what houses we have to check at night,” Dalton said.

The chief said officers routinely check those homes to make sure they’re empty.

“The chief come in the yard and the first thing he said is, ‘I’ll tell you what’s the matter, the first thing is your at the wrong address,’” Arnold said.

Initially, Chief Dalton believed the officer may have gone to the wrong home, but Dalton later learned that wasn’t the case.

“But the officer knew what house he was at, he just didn’t know the address because there was no markings,” Dalton said.

The Matthews Police Department called in the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department to investigate.

“It cleared my officer of any wrongdoing, it was not malicious intent on his part to shoot the poor dog,” Dalton said.

The sheriff’s department concluded the dog attacked the officer when he came inside the house, but those who lost their four-legged friend say Ricky Bobby didn’t have a mean bone in his body.

“I’m feeling like his life doesn’t matter,” Pointer said.

Chief Dalton said he plans to release the body camera footage on June 12 that supports the dog attacking his officer.