File / eExtra News
The bodycam footage of a Paris Animal Control officer shooting a pregnant dog in the streets has been released.
Animal Control Officer Guy Ausburn has been taking heat over the last several weeks for shooting the pregnant dog, now named Abby, in the streets with a shotgun. According to Ausburn, he had been chasing Abby for three years and she had several litters of puppies during that time. Although he never said she was aggressive toward him or anyone else, he chose to end her life after he said he tried trapping and tranquilizing her with no luck.
The shooting happened Oct. 15 around 6th and Pine Bluff streets. An onlooker, Kelly Stelmack, witnessed the shooting and had a nearby person call 9-1-1 to try and stop Ausburn from continuing to hunt Abby.
“I shot her twice with a slug,” Ausburn said to the responding officer.
“She’s still making it, somehow,” the officer replied.
“Yeah, she’s tough … she’s had puppies from 8th Street all the way up to 17th NW … It’s hard to ever catch her.”
Ausburn and the officer were confronted by onlookers while they waited for Abby to “go to sleep.”
“Isn’t there a better way to do it than to just shoot them like that,” Stelmack asked Ausburn.
“Well, like I told you, they let her out of my trap and I darted her before … she gets away a lot,” he explained. “You can’t hardly ever find her … I’ve been chasing her for three years now.”
“I’m gonna get her in a bag,” Ausburn said, “She’s not dead, she’s passed out, but I don’t want that blood all over me.”
He soon threw her into a black garbage bag, flipping the bag with her inside, and at one point dropping her to the ground.
“Can you grab one end and me grab the other,” the officer asked.
“I got it,” Ausburn responded, finally picking her up.
We reached out to City Manager Grayson Path, City Attorney Stephanie Harris, City Mayor Paula Portugal, Paris Police Chief Richard Salter, and Captain Terry Bull to get their take on the matter. We asked if they felt Abby was treated humanely, per City Code Section 2, which states: “It is the policy of the Department that all employees will handle animals in a safe and humane manner.” We received no response from anyone. We asked if ACO Guy Ausburn was in compliance with Section 3 of the City Code, which starts that “Unconscious animals will be carried or trucked into the shelter. Dragging of a tranquilized animal is not appropriate.” We received no response from anyone. We also asked if any action would be taken against Ausburn such as suspension, termination, or forced retirement. We received no response from anyone.
Since Abby’s death, many residents of Paris have taken up to make it their mission to get justice for Abby. Salter has advised he has ordered tracking darts so, in the future, the darted animals can’t run away and hide from animal control like Ausburn alleges Abby did in the past.
A petition with more than 2,000 signatures is circulating to get justice for Abby, calling for the changing of policies and the firing of Ausburn. Click here to view the petition.
We have requested the bodycam footage from Ausburn on the day of the shooting and are waiting to receive that footage. We will continue updating our readers as information comes in.
Click below to watch the bodycam footage and judge for yourself. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Please be advised parts of this footage may be traumatizing for some audiences and viewer discretion is advised.