Hutto woman devastated after dog shot and killed by officer

A woman in Hutto says she is devastated after police shot and killed her dog.

She wishes things would have been handled differently but Hutto PD says the dog was a threat.

Duke was a rescue dog and almost seven years old. Animal control was called on him and three other dogs, then Hutto PD showed up. Duke's owner says he was defending her and their home when he was shot. 

"He thought I was going to be attacked. He thought that man, crouching down, pulling out his gun, coming toward my front door right here, was going to attack me. So, my dog did what he was supposed to do and he lost his life for it," says Paula Gola, Duke's owner. 

Now Paula Gola is making sure she fights for Duke, hoping to shed light on what she says is the truth. But, there are conflicting sides to the story.

"I didn't care whose dogs they were, as aggressive as they were. If my kids were out here, I don't want to know what may have happened," says Stephen Balderas, called animal control.

Stephen Balderas and his wife are the neighbors who called for help Saturday afternoon. The City of Hutto says when animal control got there, the dogs were aggressive toward her as well. She then called Hutto police. In the surveillance video, you see the officer arrive and the dog charge at him. Then, shots are fired. 

"I probably would have shot the dog, just because I'm not trained with any of that. So I would have been afraid - protect myself, protect my family, protect my kids. I hate that the officer had to do that, or that he felt that he had to do that, but he did show a lot of restraint. The dogs did come at him a couple of times," says Balderas. 

Another neighbor says Duke has never made her feel uneasy. 

"I would say Duke is a very friendly dog, very protective," says Rose Willey, neighbor.

Gola says the reason the dogs got out was because her husband was working in the backyard and the gate didn't lock properly. He left to Lowe's hardware store and about 30 minutes later, amimal control was at their home. 

"She drove right to the yard and look at her, she don't seem scared to me," says Gola. 

Not shown on camera, is why the woman from animal control ends up calling Hutto PD. Gola wishes the responding officer would have instead taken a non-lethal approach.

"That's why I was shocked that he didn't have a can of mace, a rubber bullet. I've been told by several people there were tons of things that could have been used, that wouldn't have injured the dog," says Gola. 

Gola says she also wishes they would have been allowed to rush Duke to the vet, instead she says officers made them wait around 20 to 25 minutes. By then, it was too late.

"All I want, is some compassion from the Hutto Police Department and I want them to pay the vet bill because this is outrageous," says Gola. 

Hutto Police Chief Byron Frankland sent us this statement: 
"First of all and most importantly, we have empathy for the dog and the owners and want to remind all citizens the dog at large ordinance says that unleashed dogs must remain on their property at all times.