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Farmville family stunned that officer fatally shot Golden Retriever

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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Va. -- A Farmville family is searching for answers after a Prince Edward Deputy shot their eight-year-old Golden Retriever, named Party, ultimately killing him.

"The dog was at the same level of the officer when he fired," said homeowner Stephen Carwile, and indicated that the deputy was standing at the bottom of the deck.

The incident happened June 27 while the family wasn't home.  A deputy was serving Carwile a civil warrant when he said he felt threatened by the dog.

"I come home to blood all over the place all over my porch," said Carwile. He called the sheriff's office after he couldn't find Party, then saw his blood stained deck and the warrant.

"The lieutenant called me and stated that my dog had tried to attack the officer and the officer had shot my dog."

The Prince Edward Sheriff's office put out the following press release:

On June 27, 2014 a Prince Edward County Deputy was charged by a vicious dog at a residence while he was attempting civil paper service. The Deputy tried to get away from the dog but the animal lunged at him so he fired his weapon as required by training. Animal Control was notified seeking medical assistance for the dog, but the animal later died.

The sheriff's department said the incident was investigated by the Virginia State Police, however a state police spokeswoman said that was not the case.

"The resident did speak with Sgt. King, who explained that the Virginia State Police cannot investigate an incident involving another law enforcement agency without that agency's formal request, or the request of the Attorney General, commonwealth's attorney, or grand jury," said state police. "You will need to contact the sheriff's office for details concerning the incident."

Party's owner, Carwile's 14-year-old stepson Prescott Stewart, said that's not the dog he knew, and he can't imagine the dog lunging at anyone.

"It's like a void that has been put inside of me I can't describe it; he was just that kind of dog that if he could be human, he could be my brother -- it's just hard," Stewart said.

A necropsy shows Party was shot twice, and died of blood loss.


"Anything after the first shot the dog was disabled, the second shot he was just shooting to be cruel," said Carwile.

The Carwiles said Party suffered on their deck for more than an hour before before he died in the care of the dog warden.

"I know he suffered, he was trying to get in the house," he said. "He wanted one of us to open that door and let him him so he could be saved."

"I still have bullet holes in my house, blood on my porch and bullet casings laying in my yard that I have to look at everyday and it just keeps going through my mind without anybody doing anything about this," he added.

The Carwiles plan to file a civil suit.  They want this case investigated and the deputy who killed their dog terminated.

"I want to see him loose his job and never tow a firearm again," said Carwile.

"I just hope he thinks about it and realizes he did wrong," said Stewart.


  • Suzi

    As a former police officer, myself, there was/is absolutely no reason to kill any animal that was protecting its property. That police officer should have been aware that dogs are very territorial animals. He’ll be very fortunate if his job is the only thing he loses.

  • Realist

    Why was the dog loose? Isn’t Prince Edward County currently in it’s “dog confinement” period of the year? If so, it is the owner’s fault because the dog wasn’t inside the house or in a pen.

    • Rene

      I’m sorry but not everyone lives In a subdivision. I live on a little over 80 acres in P.E. County and I WILL NOT confine my dogs. How can you say it’s the owners fault?!

      • melisaaaa00

        That’s right I live in the country no neighbors. .so I won’t confine my dogs either ..they take care of my family…get the racoons and all the pesky animals that eat my garden lol they let me know when someone’s pulling up..Also they warn me if a bear is close by…so no I will say with 5 kids playing outside and in the middle of no where ..I _will not confine mine either

    • Lesley

      Not confined? He was on the deck of the house!! Officer shot ” as trained”?? Better update your training methods Prince George. UNACCEPTABLE in this day and age.

    • sarahjaneb

      The dog was not at large; he was on his own property in his own yard. It’s not clear from the video whether or not the property is fenced, but either way, the dog was in his own yard and the officer was the one at large.

    • doug scott

      the story does not say if the dog was in a fenced yard or maybe on a tether/leash.. at the very least he was on his own deck. the dumba$$ cop did wrong and should be severely punished. lose his job and pay the owner big $$ compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted on the dog and his family.. out of his own pocket and not the police dept.

  • kim

    Please if you are to leave and you have a dog .. please do not leave him/her outside…if you do you should leave him out tied to something and have a shelter for him and food and water. If not then bring him/her inside and put inside a bathroom/bedroom.. this is where crate training is a good idea … I leave my house my dogs go into the crate. There they are safe and will not get shot by IDIOT COPS.

  • lisa collins

    The story doesn’t ring true, if the dog lunged, he’d have lunged off the deck at the approaching officer. HMM, Testi-LYING.

    • Karen Carwile

      The necropsy tells the story. The shots were fired while the dog was standing on the deck, shattering both front shoulders, he drug himself to the back door to get in and was left over an hour to drown in his bleeding lungs. Sorry graphic but my pain pushes me to tell his story. Follow on FB Justice for Party or steve carwile. Thank you so much

    • Lesley

      Seriously. You and I know Karl that we’d be sentenced to YEARS in prison. All because we would be deemed not authorized to use a gun or carry a weapon or shoot a member of the law. And we also both know a K9 could WAY more dangerous than the average house dog.

    • Carl

      Hopefully you would be testifying via closed circuit TV from the hospital after the dog ripped into your throat. You Sir are too an idiot.

      • Karl Hungus

        So in other words, in your view, the right to claim self-defense from an ostensibly dangerous animal applies only to costumed members of the state, and that if I were to be the victim of an unprovoked attack by a police dog, I’d have an obligation to submit to the attack?

        Let me guess: you believe that K-9 dogs are “police officers” too, right?

  • goatherder

    Last year a Prince Edward Deputy came to my house to leave a summons for a custody hearing. I live on a farm 1/2 mile off the road. The deputy called my business and talked to one of my employees and stated that my dog would not let her out of the car. I have a dog, which was confined inside my house at the time. The employee let the deputy know the mean dog was actually a small goat. The horns should have clued the deputy in that it wasn’t a dog. By the way the goat is very friendly and the only damage he might do would be to jump on the car looking for a snack. I question the competency of a police officer that can’t tell the difference between a goat and a dog. I have worked as a police officer and in EMS for 30+ years and been confronted by many dogs. I have used flashlights, nightsticks and MACE to back them down, but have never considered shooting any of them.

    • Karen Carwile

      Sorry that you feel that way. What about the additional shots that skipped from my deck, immediately past my back door and through the end of my home? If any of my children had walked out, they would have been shot. Who would be doing no wrong then? Thank you anyway. Karen Carwile

      • melisaaaa00

        That’s right Karen ..I agree 200% people are so ignorant it’s unbelievable. If it were them they’d be upset too . But at least now their brain is open to their future situations and will look back and remember. I hope justice is served

      • Wanda

        Ms. Carwile, i’m so sorry this happened to your family and so sorry that you lost your beloved pet and Thank God none of your children or any other family member was hurt in this senseless act of negligence on this Deputy’s part. I hope that justice is served. This was so over the top and DANGEROUS and scary to think we have men in uniforms given guns and badges and rights to kill. This was just wrong on so many levels and dangerous. Take care and God Bless

    • doug scott

      SuzyQ , humans do much more wrong than any dog has EVER done. Dogs harbor no malice and do not use weapons, and , with you in mind, are significantly smarter than some people. .

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    I stand behind the police officer. I see people with out of control dogs every day and just because he was friendly to you doesn’t mean anything,.

    • Jay

      Sorry city boy, that is not the law in this rural county. Many rural counties have laws which do not mandate strict leash use when under oral control or on the owners property. Many people let their dogs live a great, outdoor life, far from neighbors, traffic with plenty of shelter, water and food. Appears this dog was doing exactly what many would praise as good, protective behavior. Did the pig chase the dog back onto the deck? He must have known no one was at home or did he just “blindly” shoot towards the house? Why not come back with animal control officer or when the pig knew the owner would be home?

    • Karen Carwile

      Some of my dearest friends are in law enforcement. This should serve as a good lesson that we should all make sure we know the details before we pass judgement or “pick sides”. The Commonwealth’s Attorney has requested an investigation into this. Please follow on FB Justice for Party or steve carwile. Thank you

  • Lisa

    sounds fishy to me – golden retrievers are definitely not a breed known to be aggressive. Might just be an arrogant cop shooting a dog that dared to bark at him.

  • Karen Carwile

    Thank you to everyone for following our story. Regardless of opinions I appreciate the passion with the circumstance, or as I say “murder” of our family member. Please keep following our story and insist that an investigation be done. I raised my son to respect “the system” however it is getting more difficult to explain to him each day when he asks “is anyone doing anything to find out?” Commonwealth’s Attorney, James Ennis is well aware of the situation and has the authority to request a State Police investigation, but seems hesitant in doing so. He can be reached at 434-392-1902 or request his email address from them. We also have a Facebook page you can follow, Justice for Party or through Steve Carwile. Please do not let this fade away. Thank you again, Karen Carwile

  • Luv life

    A similar incident happened in Utah several weeks ago when a cop went to a person’s fenced in yard looking for a 3- year old child. The owner’s dog barked (at the cop) was protective of his property at which time, instead of looking over the fence for the child or backing out of the yard, the cop shot the dog in the head! The owner, a young man was called and was videotaping his reaction while driving home. That was devastating! I posted the number of the police department so others could call and voice their concerns (anger) to the department. The cop had left the premises and his name wasn’t made known to the owner. There were a few cops awaiting the arrival of the owner. The death of his dog was heart wrenching for everyone!

  • Carl

    Hmmm, this is quite odd, nobody seems to be questioning “why” the deputy was there in the first place? It seems to me from this tragic story that the deputy went to the location to serve a “warrant”. Last time I checked, a “warrant” gets issued for someone who’s broken the law (hint, hint) the hillbilly that was interviewed. Let’s get real here, the media is being used to deflect from the fact that the deputy was doing his job and serving a warrant on a law breaker. Maybe if Mr. Carwile took care of his legal matters the right way (like showing up in court) this incident might never have occurred.

    • Karen Carwile

      Carl, I must commend you on your aggressive stance to protect law enforcement, however until you are more educated on the matter, I would suggest you tone down the name-calling liable. Anyone in this country can file a civil claim against you whether it is true or not. This was a financial matter, not criminal (hint hint) or anything to do with character. My husband has had a 20 year law enforcement related career, so trying to make him look bad, only makes you , well, you know. I like your passion, just try to think outside of the box you are trapped in. Thank you very much, Karen Carwile

  • Viochita Fea

    Can we please start training police officers not to pull guns as a part of dog training? Every other profession has strategies that do not include shooting the family pet. Think post office workers. Police officers like to act as though their jobs are so dangerous but they don’t even rank in the to ten of dangerous jobs. Bullies are just cowards, acting out. This cop does not have the mental stability to serve and protect. He serves and shoots.

  • Tammy

    This makes me absolutely ill that a law enforcement officer would shoot a non aggressive breed of dog.

Comments are closed.

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