CLEGHORN, Iowa (KWQC) – The sheriff of Cherokee County in western Iowa says one of his deputies was recently fired after a dog was reported to have been shot 10 times.
“On August 10th an unfortunate incident occurred involving Deputy Alec Wolf and a dog,” according to a September 5 post on the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
The post, which on September 7 appeared to have been removed, went on to say that the day before the August 10 incident in Cleghorn, the dog had attacked two other dogs, killing one of them.
“After numerous attempts to catch the dog with a dog catcher pole for 2 days, the dog was ordered to be shot as long as it was not in the city limits of Cleghorn, Iowa and as long as it was not at the property of [an address on Highway 3] of rural Cleghorn,” according to the post, which went on to say “this order was both written and verbal to Deputy Wolf.”
The post then provided the following sequence of events after Deputy Wolf had been given the order:
“About one hour later, Deputy Wolf sent an email to his fellow deputies and supervisors saying that the dog was found on H Avenue outside of Cleghorn and shot by him.
On Sunday August 12th a supervisor received a complaint from [an address on Highway 3] of rural Cleghorn saying this incident actually occurred in his yard.
It was reported that the dog was shot 10 times.
It was reported the deputy tried to clean up the scene picking up the brass and wiping up the blood and entering an outbuilding.
A supervisor received 2 still photos of the incident.
The decision was made to place this deputy on immediate paid administrative leave until the investigation was complete.
After we were able to partially investigate the incident, Deputy Wolf received unpaid leave for 10 days after the internal affairs investigation.
Although the Sheriff’s Office asked for the video of the incident, the video was not given to our department to be used for the investigation.
On 09/04/2018 the video was released on Facebook which made it so the internal affairs investigation could be completed.
Deputy Alec Wolf was ultimately immediately terminated.”
The dog, named Zucko, was owned by Cody Lugar.
Lugar said when Zucko was shot in his yard, instead of at a location outside of town on H Avenue as Deputy Wolf had reported, Deputy Wolf and another individual with him did not know someone was in the house capturing the gunshots and aftermath on video.
“They recorded it on their cell phone,” Lugar told KWQC via email.
“We have video of the dog being shot. We have video of them cleaning up all the casings (except the two they could not find which we have), cleaning up the blood, all traces of being there.”
Lugar has since removed the video from public view on Facebook.
“The Sheriff contacted me this morning asking if I would take the post [showing the video] down or make it so people cannot comment because people were threatening deputies,” Lugar said on Friday.
“That is never what we wanted.”
Lugar said while devastated by what happened, “I am glad the Sheriff's department took the step that they did in terminating the deputy.”
The September 5 post on the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page ended saying, “Though law enforcement strives for high standards, sometimes like any job people make their own decisions, even bad ones which affect everyone involved.”