The Muzzi family from Cleveland, Mississippi is looking for answers after a cop shot their one and a half year old yellow lab, Miller, on June 12.
Tyler Muzzi and his family are in mourning. Tyler was trying to be a good Samaritan when he called his neighbor to inform him that a suspicious character was sneaking around his place. Muzzi was getting ready to go to work at around 1:15 pm on Friday, when he saw the man. “We live on a dead-end road, so we all know who should be in the neighborhood and who shouldn’t,” he added.
His neighbor called the police, who arrived while Muzzi was still keeping an eye on the lurker. They searched the area and apprehended the suspect. Muzzi’s yellow lab, Miller, was on a run in his yard. The run was a wire that stretched between two trees and Miller was on a tie down that moved along the wire. He was able to access a large area of Muzzi’s yard and about a foot onto the neighbor’s property.
After watching the man being taken away and seeing a plains clothes investigator, Greg Perkins, arrive, Muzzi resumed getting ready for work. All of a sudden he heard three shots ring out. Thinking the cops had shot the suspect, and knowing that he was in custody, he ran to the door to see what was going on, only to see Miller lying on the ground in a pool of blood screaming in pain.
Investigator Greg Perkins of the Cleveland Police had deemed it necessary to walk back into Muzzi’s back yard and shoot the dog. All the other officers had been around the dog the entire time they were searching for the intruder. The line was clearly visible, and none of them had any problem with the friendly dog. “We do not have a fenced in backyard, so we keep Miller on a line when we are home and he needs to go out. They saw him, knew he was there, and never asked me to put him up,” Muzzi said.
He ran back into his house and called his vet and grabbed some towels to wrap his dog in. The cops stood around and didn’t help him until Animal Control pulled up and helped him get Miller to his car. They made it to the vet, but Miller’s injuries were too severe for him to pull through and he had to be euthanized.
Muzzi said at that point he didn’t know who had shot his dog until Greg Perkins came up to his car and apologized. “He said my dog tried to attack him on the line and was vicious,” Muzzi said. “I repeated over and over that I didn’t understand. He was attached to a line. He said he didn’t see the line when he saw Miller, he said Miller was rushing towards him.”
The officer was given a paid vacation while the city investigates the incident.
Folks, this is an amazing family. I have been in contact with them since the day after it happened, and they are handling this awful situation with grace and dignity. Their world has been turned upside down and they are grieving deeply. They have set up a Facebook page, Justice 4 Miller Muzzi and a petition to ask for justice. Their page has taken off like wildfire, they are receiving thousands of messages of support and love. Within two days it had 4,000 likes. Please visit the page and like and share to show your support for them. They are determined to see that this does not happen to any other families. They are advocating for change. Cops kill a family pet at an estimated rate of one every hour. These are not isolated incidents. It is an epidemic and it HAS to stop!
The Muzzi family has now filed a Notice of Claim with the city threatening litigation as a result of this incident. The Cleveland Current says, “Because of the threatened litigation, the city is limited in the comments it can now make regarding the matter. However, the City does wish to express its sincerest condolences for the loss of Miller Muzzi. Additionally, the City has determined that it will schedule, as soon as possible, animal behavior/sensitivity training for all employees who may come into contact with animals as a part of the City duties.”