SILVER SPRINGS SHORES FL.--- Marion County Animal Services officials are investigating the shooting deaths of two Great Danes by a man claiming the animals were aggressive toward him and a neighbor on Thursday.
The man, who lives in Silver Springs Shores, told a sheriff’s deputy he was in his garage working on his car when two Great Danes charged at him aggressively. He jumped on his vehicle to avoid them.
When this happened again later, the man went into the home and retrieved his 9mm handgun and his cellphone to call law enforcement.
Before authorities arrived, the man shot the dogs. His neighbor told him the dogs had attacked him, as well.
One neighbor told a deputy the dogs posed no threat; the neighbor who was allegedly attacked said the dogs twice approached him in an aggressive manner.
The dogs, one dead and the other gasping for air, were transported to the county’s animal control center, where the dog fighting for his life died.
Deputies were told by an official at the center that the animals were so dehydrated, the veterinarian did not feel they could be running around or act aggressively.
Elaine DeIorio, spokeswoman from the county’s animal services, said the case is under investigation.
FROM Holi Tencza (the owner of these babies)
Please bear with me....these "dogs" were MY four-legged kids. The were NOT miss treated or malnourished. They were BOTH AKC Canine Good Citizens, members of Marion Alachua Dog Training Association, members of The Ocala Great Dane Club and have been at MANY community events. They were almost 5 years old and I'm sorry but accidents happen! They have NEVER NEVER been loose off of our property before....EVER.
This is how Thursday August 12th went down.....as I lived it
3:00pm My husband called me at work to let me know that our 4 year old Great Danes are loose. (Our gate had been opened to allow him and our 10 year old son to cut grass, when it started raining they came into the house by way of the garage. A short time later it had stopped raining and the dogs wanted to go out. It is our son’s responsibility to let them outside. He didn’t know his dad didn’t shut the gate and he let them out. Our neighbor came over to let us know they were loose.) I immediately left work, called my mom who lives a short distance away to aid in the search and called several other friends as well.
We searched everywhere we could get to. I was on foot with the leashes in hand. A lady in a SUV stopped and asked me if I owned two great Danes, when I said yes, she said they had been in her yard and she would drive me there. During the ride, she stated to me that she had tried several times to get them to come to her, even retrieved treats from inside her home and they still would not come to her. She stated “they were having a ball”. (I have her contact information should she need to give a statement) Upon arriving to her house, there was a neighbor sitting on his porch, I asked if he had seen them and he said yes and pointed in the direction they went. While walking I approached another couple sitting outside by their pool and asked them if they had seen the dogs. They said “yes they were playing in the back here for awhile”. I kept walking in the direction they said they went. A few minutes later, a pre-teen/teenage boy on a bike came by and I asked him if he had seen them, he said “yes they were at the end of Pecan Rd” I asked if they followed him at all, he said “no they went the opposite way”.
At this point my husband picked me up so I could go home to use the restroom and get water. I decided to get in my car at this point and look. I drove down to Pine Rd to get gas and restarted the search.
At approximately 6:19pm, I pulled around the corner of a road and seen Marion County Sheriff Office and several residents standing outside. As I approached, Deputy O’Carroll came to the car, asked if I owned 2 great Danes and when I said yes, he told me to back up off the side of the road. I called my husband and he said a deputy was pulling in the driveway at that point (he had gone home to get on his bicycle to start looking).
I was asked to get out of my vehicle and talk with O’Carroll. He advised me that both my dogs had been shot and killed. They were both dead. He asked if I wanted to see them and I said no. I had no idea what they had been shot with or the condition they were in and I had my six year old daughter with me. O’Carroll said I could go home and animal control would contact me. At that time the other deputy and my husband arrived. I told him what happened and we went home.
6:41 Deputy O’Carroll called me to inform me that my male great Dane was NOT dead and that Animal Control requested I meet them at the Animal Center, their vet was on the way.
6:55 I called Deputy O’Carroll back, as I was at the Animal Center and no one was there yet. He informed me they were on the way.
7:00pm Animal Control arrived. Samson was shot in the left side of the muzzle just behind the nose. He was conscious but bleeding profusely. He had stridor breathing and an inability to pant. The vet was there immediately and informed me that there wasn’t any x-ray equipment there. At that point the decision was made for me to take him to the emergency vet located in town. I backed my vehicle up and Samson was able to climb into the back.
7:09pm I notified the E-Vet of the situation and that we were en route. Samson’s breathing was extremely labored at this point.
7:22pm We arrived at the E-Vet. By this time Samson was obtunded and not moving on his own. Two employees and I loaded him on to a portable table and he was rushed inside. My sister-in-law, Renee met me there.
Approximately 7:40, Animal Control called and stated the vet had done a necropsy on Epic and retrieved the bullet from her. They requested my permission to open an investigation. I of course gave them permission.
Approximately 9:00 pm, the vet, Dr McLaughhn, notified me that she didn’t feel that the actual gunshot wound was life threatening at this point, although he did have some signs of possible head trauma. His biggest obstacle is dehydration, heat stroke, and shock. His body temp on arrival was 106.6. (Normal is 101-102.5) I was told that he was critical but she was optimistic on his prognoses. We could go home and she would call us with any changes.
9:46pm Dr. McLaughhn called me to tell me that Samson had suffered cardiac arrest and although CPR was performed they were unable to save him.
This is an account of the FACTS that we learned in the following hours/days of the tragic event.
I picked up a copy of the incident report from the Sheriff substation on Maricamp Road. THIS IS PUBLIC RECORD AND AVAILABLE TO ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO "CONFIRM" MY STORY.
The details from the report are summarized below
5:28pm MCSO received a call from "the shooter" regarding two aggressive great Danes in the area. While the deputy was en route another call was received stated he has shot both animals out of fear for his and his neighbor’s safety.
Matching with the above time frame, that makes it almost 1 and ½ hours before Samson was in my car to go to the vet…TWO HOURS after being shot before he received treatment. Since I was told he was dead when I was at the scene.
The police report states the shooter had been approached (aggressively) while working on a car in his garage. He escaped by getting on top of his car.
After they dogs left, HE WENT INSIDE HIS HOUSE, called the Sheriff office and retrieved his gun. HE LEFT THE SAFETY OF HIS HOUSE AND WENT OUT TO THE GARAGE TO CONTINUE WORKING ON HIS CAR.
At this point he said he heard the dogs backing and instead of going back inside his house…..HE WENT OUT INTO THE YARD to talk with his neighbor! The neighbor then went back in the house....he was NOT OUTSIDE when the shots were fired
The shooter reported that both dogs then started coming aggressively towards him again and he fired THREE rounds from his 9MM glock handgun.
(upon visiting the scene and matching the events with the police report…..my dogs were shot and killed while in THE ROAD IN FRONT OF THE NEIGHBORS HOUSE WITH A STREET INBETWEEN THEIR HOUSES. Blood splatter marks and the blood trail still was very visible and pictures were taken of the scene.) The shooter fired across the street, (which is normally a felony charge) and with a house as a backstop.
Witnesses from down the road said that while yes the dogs were barking, they were wagging their tails and insisted that the dogs were not a threat. That statement would also match the statements from other neighborhood residents that had seen the dogs out that day.
Yes I know that MY DOGS WERE LOOSE. I called Animal Control MYSELF to report them loose. All they did was take my information and said they would call if they got a report on them
This man left the safety of his house and FIRED THREE SHOTS at two dogs that were NOT in his yard. They were in the road.
My dogs were dehydrated because they had been running in the Florida heat for almost 2 1/2 hours, not because they were not taking care of. Both were neutered/spayed, micro chipped and up to date on shots. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE pet owners. This guy was gun happy PERIOD.