Animal Control issues criminal charges to officer - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Animal Control issues criminal charges to officer

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The owner of a little Yorkie filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday looking for compensation from the owner of a Pit Bull, who she claims mauled her dog.

Children and a mother are on edge and for good reason. Their 2-year-old Yorkie, Teddy, died in December 2011. Its owner said her neighbor's two pit bulls mauled the dog.

"They've came to my front door, snatched my Yorkie from my front porch and killed him in the front yard," said owner Tamela Gant.

Then Monday, coming home from the park, another incident for Gant and her children.

"One of his Pit Bulls got out, and it was scratching at my door. It left marks on my door trying to get to my kids," said Gant. "I tried to run it off. It ran at me, so I ran across the street and got on the porch."

Gant's mother, Lita Gant, said there is no excuse why the dogs are out without a leash, saying this specific owner should know better.

"He should be held to a higher standard than the everyday citizen as far as keeping this dog secure," said Lita Gant.

Why? He's with the Baton Rouge Police Department.  WAFB tried to ask Officer Janavian Chocklin about the two alleged incidents.

"Do you live here?" asked Chawla. "(I'm) looking for the officer who owns two Pit Bulls."

Officer Chocklin told Chawla he didn't know who that was. He added it was a relative's home, and ended the conversation by telling Chawla, "Have a good day."

But his wife contradicted the story, saying they did live there, and they did own Pit Bulls. When asked if she would want to talk about it, she said she did not want to entertain it.

Lita Gant said because the Pit Bull owner was an officer, Gant felt he was above the law. But Animal Control & Rescue Center's Director Hilton Cole said that's not the case.

"There is no such thing in our book. We will charge anybody at any time for any reason as long as we have probable cause," said Cole.

Cole said they had probable cause along with Gant's statement. Plus, when a deputy investigated Monday, he reported he saw the Pit Bull without a leash. He said the dog growled at him. So earlier Tuesday, Officer Chocklin was issued a summons with criminal charges.

"It's all about the owner. It's not even so much the dog, as it is the owner. Why are these dogs running at large? What's the problem here? You should know better," said Cole.

After the investigation is completed, the Pit Bull could be deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous. That means one more incident, and Animal Control could seize the dog.

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