Man charged in shooting of dog that attacked child

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) – A New Britain man is facing charges after he shot and killed his dog. He says he shot the dog because it attacked his daughter.

“Probably if it was my kid and I had a gun, and a dog was attacking them, I would probably shoot em,” said Jeanne Francis, New Britain.

In this case the dog was the family pet. Investigators got the call to investigate the shooting at the house in New Britain. Police say the dog turned on a child in the home and the father, Frank Gavrish, took the dog outside and shot it twice.

He has been charged with cruelty to  animals and unlawful discharge of a firearm. It happened on January 14th. Police arrested him over the weekend.

“That’s  a life, that’s family, I remember my dog, a doberman, it was just like a human, that’s a terrible position for anybody to be in,” said Marva Thomas, Hartford.

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The New Britain Police Department says there are a couple issues at work here in this case. Number one the unlawful discharge of a firearm in the neighborhood. There has to be some protocol in place there. They say you should always get the animal control officer or police involved so they can deal with the animal humanely.

“I understand the not wanting to shoot him on site, because I get why he was arrested, because you don’t know what is happening. People try and shoot their dogs for tons of reasons and it’s horrible, and horrific so … I don’t know,” said Francis.

It is a difficult situation the family pet turning on the family. Garvish did not want to talk about it because it is a pending criminal case.

But police say his child did suffer serious injuries and had to be hospitalized. He has a lawyer and plans to fight the charges.

“It’s a life or death situation and something like that, there is no way as him as a human being without a weapon could intervene with the dog,” said Thomas.

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