Reese's, a Conway dog, is in stable condition awaiting surgery at a Little Rock emergency veterinarian clinic after a recently-fired Faulkner County Sheriff's Office deputy shot her in the face Friday evening.
Video clips show former K-9 handler Keenan Wallace walking up to a residence in the Shiloh Creek Estates neighborhood as he begins arguing with the homeowner about wanting to talk in the road over an aggressive dog situation before proceeding to shoot the 9-pound dog.
Doug Canady, who helps care for the neighborhood stray, told the Log Cabin he was appalled and disgusted with Wallace following the incident.
As the graphic video showing deputy Wallace shooting Reese's began circling the web late Friday, donations began pouring in to help fund the dog's vet bills and surgery costs. As of Saturday evening, Canady said he'd paid about $2,400 of his own money to make sure Reese's would be OK. Since then, Faulkner County residents and others have raised more than $3,600 that will be used to help offset the costs of Reese's emergency care.
"She's the sweetest little dog, my daughter and all the neighborhood kids love her," Canady said. "After this, I'd really like to see two things happen: I want that officer dealt with and I want Reese's to be the bouncy, lovable, energetic dog she used to be. She's just such a good dog."
The sheriff's office confirmed late Friday that Wallace had been placed on administrative leave following the "unfortunate incident." Saturday evening, Sheriff Tim Ryals announced Wallace was fired.
Since taking office in two years ago, Ryals said he has worked hard to promote "integrity, professionalism and transparency," adding that he holds Faulkner County deputies "to the highest of standards to protect and serve the residents of our community."
"Unfortunately, a deputy fell short to those standards" and was ultimately fired because of that Saturday evening, he said.
Ryals said upon fully reviewing the evidence at hand, he noted there "were numerous opportunities to de-escalate the incident" as opposed to shooting the small dog.
"As a result of the incident that occurred [Friday], in the Shiloh Estates Subdivision, Deputy Keenan Wallace has been relieved of his duties at the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office," Ryals said Saturday evening. "We in Law Enforcement answer calls every day that require split second life and death decisions. We strive to be right 100 percent of the time. Our department is sadden[ed] about this incident and apologize[s] for any distress and disappointment this incident has caused anyone who was affected by this disheartening event. We will keep Reese's in our thoughts through the recovery process."
FCSO spokesman Erinn Stone said authorities initially were called to the subdivision regarding "an aggressive dog" complaint.
According to the man who watched Reese's get shot, a woman walking in the neighborhood complained about the 9-pound dog and proceeded to point a gun toward his house before calling 911. Canady said Reese's, along with a group of other neighborhood dogs, was barking at the woman when she pulled out a firearm, aiming it at the cluster of small pups.
"I told her she needed to put the gun away because she was pointing it at my house and shooting at my house would endanger me, the bullet also could have ricocheted from the road and hit me or the house," he said. "She's the one who called Faulkner County and I guess that's where the video picked up."
Canady also said he found it alarming that Wallace threatened him with a taser soon after shooting Reese's. He said there was no way Wallace "feared for his life" when he shot the dog, adding that Wallace shot the dog moments after he declined walking over to talk with Wallace in the street vs. on his porch.
Shortly after shooting Reese's, the K-9 deputy is heard saying he shot the 9-pound dog because "these dogs are chasing people."
Upset that a Faulkner County law enforcement officer had discharged a weapon in front of him and shot a dog he has helped to nurture, Canady says he will never look at Faulkner County officials the same.
The county resident said Reese's owners abandoned her when she was a young pup and that while he doesn't claim ownership to her, he helps care for and loves her.
"I leave my garage door cracked so she can stay warm by a heat lamp and I feed her," he said. "Let's get this dog healthy and back to the neighborhood ... [she] has roamed that neighborhood for so long and is used to having her freedom."
Reese's is currently at the Arkansas Veterinary Emergency & Specialists center in Little Rock. She is stable but has feeding tubes in place and is awaiting surgery to repair her jaw, which was shattered when she was shot.
Canady said it brought him joy Saturday morning when he stopped by the vet clinic to visit Reese's.
"When she heard my voice she perked up some, and you could see her tail start wagging," he said. "She's just the sweetest thing."
As others continue collecting donations to help pay for Reese's care, Canady said he asks donors to send money directly to the vet clinic.
"I don't want any of the money," he said adding that he's relieved others have stepped up to help pay. "I just want that dog to feel better again."
Many who have viewed the viral video online have expressed concerns about the incident and also about the FCSO Facebook account briefly disappearing from online Saturday afternoon.
Officials later announced once the social-media page was up-and-running again that the site was experiencing technical difficulties.
"I am in complete shock," one woman said after viewing the video. "That dog was not being aggressive. He was barking. That is what dogs do."
Others said they were "disappointed" and "outraged" that something like this happened locally.