Family fights to have dog shot by deputies returned

EAST CONCORD, N.Y. (WIVB) – A family says an Erie County Sheriff’s deputy shot their family pet while searching for a suspect. Now the dispute is headed to court.

The dog survived the shooting and the family is fighting to get her back.

“I went inside and told mama that they shot her,” said 5-year-old McKenna Shimburski.

McKenna saw Erie County Sheriff’s deputies shoot her beloved pit bull, Lady. Deputies had stopped at McKenna’s grandparents’ home looking for Ryann Skiver, her mother’s ex-boyfriend. He was wanted on burglary charges.

RELATED | Skiver is facing a long list of charges. Deputies say he’s responsible for a string of burglaries

“They didn’t have a warrant when they came here and I just feel that the entire situation is unfair and the way they handled the situation was just all wrong,” said Megan Shimburski, McKenna’s mom.

When deputies arrived they were greeted by Shimburki’s dog Lady and her parents’ dog, Ace. Deputies say they yelled at the dogs to stop coming toward them, but Lady charged at one of their officers who then shot the dog in the head.

“The dog continued to charge and when he was within three feet of the detective, it lunged at the detective and that’s when he discharged his weapon,” said Scott Zylka with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Shimburski says they had no right to shoot her dog. She says the dog isn’t aggressive.

“Never, she’s very, very friendly. Outgoing, friendly she loves children. She loves other animals,” said Shimburski.

Despite being shot, Lady survived. A few days later a dog control officer seized the dog until a hearing that will determine if the dog is dangerous.

“Very sad, very frustrating, it’s very unusual to say the least because she’s an everyday part of our life. Honestly it’s quite lonely without her. She’s one of those things that ties our family together,” said Shimburski.

Shimburski says she’s already spent around $1,300 on vet bills. Her hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening. She says she plans on taking legal action against the county.