When a stray dog befriended workers at some Williamsburg businesses, the animal lovers thought they were doing the dog a favor by calling animal control. They never thought their new friend would be gunned down with a shotgun by the man they called to help, but they say that's exactly what happened.
Bugsy needed a home. For days workers at the Whitley Pharmacy and surrounding businesses gave him food, but they decided the county's animal control officer could get Bugsy the help he needed. "In my mind, I'm thinking, he needs a home," Rhonda Rains, one of the workers who befriended Bugsy said, "They'll rescue him, take him to the shelter, clean him up, adopt him out. That's what I had envisioned happening."
But workers say when the animal control officer arrived, it was clear that wasn't going to be Bugsy's fate. That's when Breanna Rhoades says she pleaded with a police officer to let her have the dog. "He was like, well if you do that, you have to pay the fine because in city limits you have to have it on a chain or in a cage," Rhoades said, "I was like, well that's fine, whatever I need to do. Just don't kill the dog. Well when he's over here talking to me, the animal control guy was pulled here and shot the dog."
Williamsburg Police say they were concerned about potential danger after receiving calls that Bugsy had almost caused car crashes. "That dog was not going to hurt anybody. It was gentle, sweet as it could be. It was just scared to death," Rhoades said.
"I would never call our animal control ever again," Rains said, "Honest to God I wouldn't because I would be afraid this would happen, and I'm afraid that it's happened many times before that nobody knows about."
Rains and others who cared for Bugsy say since the his death, many have told them they would have adopted the dog if they had known he was in danger. Now some hope Bugsy's death will encourage more adoptions and animal control reforms. "I'd like to see an animal control that would actually rescue the dog, take it to the shelter. Let's try to get these dogs adopted out. Don't kill them in cold blood. That's not even humane. If you have to euthanize them because they're overpopulated, that's sad, and I hate that, but at least it's a humane way. I understand they may not can adopt every dog out, but at least give it a chance," Rains said
NEWSFIRST tried to contact the animal control officer involved in Bugsy's death, but he did not return our calls.