Valley Woman's Dog Shot in the Snout by Forest Service Officer
Shannon Liska says her pitbull Trax didn't deserve to be shot by a U.S. Forest Service officer while on a camping trip in March.
Shannon Liska's 2-year-old pitbull still has a bullet shard in its snout. The dog is now toothless on one side of his mouth, and doesn't have enough jaw bone left on that side to fasten replacement teeth to.
"I understand there is a leash law," Liska says, "I get it. I understand that pit bulls are scary. I get it. But [the officer] had a Tazer and he had mace."
Liska and her friend Jerald Williams were camping March 9, with Williams' two daughters near Apache Lake in the Tonto National Forest. About 6:30 p.m. Trax started barking because two Forest Service officers walked to their campground to check for camping permits.
Liska's pitbull was not on a leash at the time, which is against the law. But Liska says her dog has never bit anyone, and a day earlier, kids from the adjacent camping spot ran to her site to play with Trax.
Liska's dog barked at the two officers, and one of the officers called to Williams and Liska to contain the pitbull.
"I heard [the officer] say, 'Call your dog back,'" Williams says, "But before anyone could do anything he'd pulled his gun."
The officer drew his gun, backed up, and shot Liska's dog near the left nostril. (A report from the MCSO, which investigated the incident, says they found a tooth and blood trail three feet from where the officer stood who fired his gun.) The bullet shattered most of the dog's jaw, and he went into the tent, bleeding, and finally passed out.
Liska and Williams both disagree with the officer's report that says Trax lunged at the officer, which they say would be unlikely behavior for him.
Williams also complains that the officers initially refused to help, and Williams says he had to plead with them to fetch a first-aid kit from their truck.
Williams and Liska drove the dog to a veterinarian's office in Payson, where it underwent surgery and survived.
Liska says the Forest Service is looking into the medical bills, which now total more than $7,000, and her veterinarian asked her if she would release the information. But she has sought to raise the money online herself for now, because she doesn't know what the Forest Service will do with the info.
"I totally distrust their motives," she says.
|After the Forest Service Officer shot Trax, he ran into the tent with Liska.|