Pet owners call politician when police dismiss killing

DUNDALK, Md. - Not everyone buries a pet in their backyard complete with a grave marker and mini-monuments.

"He grew up in the family here," said Karen Kummer, "He was loved by us all.  He was a great little guy."

But few have suffered a loss like the Kummer family.

Their year old mixed terrier, "Puppy", or "Pup" for short, died after a teen walking down their allew with a bb rifle allegedly shot it without provocation.

"I said to (my boyfriend), 'I think they're going to hurt the dogs,' and by the time we opened the door and got outside, he went like that and shot my dog," said Kummer.

The distraught owner dialed 911 while her boyfriend, John Keithley, chased the teen and a younger boy with a slingshot to some nearby houses and awaited police, but she says the lone officer who showed up didn't take the shooting seriously.

"The police officer got out," recalled Kummer, "He didn't even talk to us.  He went inside and talked to them for a few minutes.   He came out and said, 'It's a civil matter between you two."

"That officer also did not offer the options of asking if we want to press charges or even file a police report, and that made us extremely angry," added Keithley, "That was very unprofessional of Baltimore County."

It took yet a second call---this time to their county councilman, John Olszewski, Sr., before four officers showed up an hour later and arrested 18-year old Lex Shifflett on animal abuse, mutilation and firearm charges in connection with the senseless killing.

Now, a family which surrounds itself with loving pets has taken the further step of securing a necropsy to preserve evidence of the act that claimed Pup's life.

"It showed that the bb was lodged in the aorta of the heart," said Keithley as he held up an x-ray of the dog, "So it was a heart shot."

A shot, which also struck close to their own hearts killing a family pet.

"I want to see where they don't get away with it," said Kummer, "I mean it may be a dog to some people, but that's our family."

***Shifflett is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center and bail has been set at $10,000.

Police say the initial officer who failed to act on the incident had already raised the suspicions of his commanding officers before the councilman interceded.

His response and decision-making are still under review.

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