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Police officer fired after killing squirrel instead of saving it

By Mason White 9:54 AM October 13, 2013
Squirrel illustration 

By: John Roberts
A police officer was dispatched to a local store to handle a situation, which seemed to be beyond his training.

While police officers are trained to deal with human criminals and intruders, seems like this officer was unable to handle an intruding animal.

An animal control officer was called to handle a squirrel that entered a store in Tennessee, and was unwilling to leave.

The squirrel caused a ruckus inside the Dollar General Store in Mountain City, but Animal Control Officer Gary Phillips was unavailable so Police Officer Jody Putnam was sent to handle the situation instead.

According to an eyewitness at the scene when the officer arrived, the squirrel was still inside the store and increasingly hostile.

In order to apprehend the squirrel, the officer decided to Taser it. Unfortunately for officer Putnam and the squirrel, the Taser was not enough to calm down the squirrel.

That’s when the officer sought his next line of defense, his service weapon. He shot and killed the animal. A witness said the officer fired three shots before the animal was dead.

As a result of this incident, a unanimous decision was made by the city to terminate the officer. “The decision of the City Council speaks for itself,” Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble said.
It is unclear if charges will be filed against Putnam.