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Dog Recovers, After Being Shot By Police

SOUTHEAST COLUMBUS (James Jackson) -- A call to police ended with an officer shooting a family's dog in their backyard on Wager Street.

It's been a rough couple of days for 7-year-old Cota. The boxer-mix gets love and affection from his owner, Pamela Groom, after being shot in the head.

"I know I'm going to eventually just break down," Groom said. "I can't take anymore."

Groom said she called Columbus police around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, saying homeless people were squatting in their garage. Surveillance video from the neighbor's camera shows two officers walking into Groom's backyard, where Cota was on a leash.

"Cota ran for him, but stopped when my husband yelled," Groom said.

But those yells did not stop the officer, who shot the dog anyway, Groom said.

"I saw the gun flashes, the muzzle flashes. I couldn't move. I heard my dog screaming in agony and I thought they killed him," Groom said.

The bullet hit Cota under his left eye and came out of his neck. Long-time family friend Patricia Hopping rushed the dog to the vet.

"Poor Pam was a basket case. She was just not making it," Hopping said. "I'm glad I was there for her. But, yea, it was bad."

Cota is making it down a slow road to recovery. The pet has broken bones in its face and nerve damage from the bullet, but is expected to be ok.

The officer who shot Cota is still on duty, the Columbus Police Department said. They are investigating the case and will determine whether or not he followed protocol.
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