SC family speaks out after dog shot, killed; neighbor charged

Around the South

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — A Florence family is speaking out after their dog was shot and killed last Friday. A press release from the Florence Police Department stated the incident happened on the 1100-block of Kenwood Avenue.

Jess Stokes and Brandon Stokes were the owners of the dog. He was a 1-year-old Doberman named Lex. Their neighbor, Christopher Rogers, has been charged with ill treatment to animals and discharging a firearm in the city limits.

“It’s a senseless thing that shouldn’t have happened. This guy decided to make a permanent solution for a temporary problem,” said Brandon Stokes.

According to FPD, medical attention wasn’t on scene. The press release also didn’t state whether Rogers suffered any injuries.

The Stokes family said they had left their two dogs in their fenced backyard for less than an hour when they received the heartbreaking phone call.

“I absolutely lost it,” Jess said. “Now she has to tell our 6-year-old girl that her dog isn’t coming home anymore,” Brandon added.

A family member called Brandon to tell him the dog got out the fence and went to the neighbor’s property. Police said Rogers was mowing his lawn when the dog started barking at him. He then went inside his home, got a gun, and shot the dog.

Rogers was taken to the Florence County Detention Center but has made bond. The Stokes said Lex would never harm anyone.

“He was happy. Every time I’d come home he’d be jumping up and down,” Brandon said.

The Stokes got Lex when he was only six weeks old. After the incident, they buried him at another family member’s home.

News13 asked FPD about what a person should do if approached by an aggressive animal.

“We want that person to move to a safe location and contact animal control depending on the situation. If it’s a very aggressive animal, call law enforcement,” said Lt. Mike Brandt.

A person that harms a non-aggressive animal could face criminal charges, according to SC Law 47-1-40. It states that if a person is found guilty of cruelly killing or inflicting excessive pain or suffering upon an animal, that person could face up to five years in prison.

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