PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A family is fuming about how the Brevard County Sheriff's Office responded to a situation involving their two dogs.
The dogs got out of the yard and went down the street -- that part of the story is not in question. However, what they were doing down the street and their personalities -- there's conflicting information on that.
The dogs are a mix of bulldog and pitbull. They are nursing their wounds right now having been through a violent incident. Leo and Titan were loose in the area of Arborwood Avenue and Leonard Avenue in Port St. John. When Kiersten Lutter's mom found the pair- the beloved family pets, they had been shot by Brevard deputies.
"I think they could've gone a totally different way about handling it," Lutter said.
The Brevard Sheriff's Office says the dogs have been a problem in the neighborhood before. According to the Sheriff's Office, they received calls from concerned citizens, because the dogs were mauling a cat.
There is some disagreement on if the cat is someone's pet or a feral animal, but the Sheriff's Office says the dogs were about to kill it and had already killed another. But the Lutter's think the deputies made a judgment call based on breed.
"Not everyone is the same, so not every dog is the same," the family said.
Nearby residents told us off camera the dogs have gone after domestic cats before. No way, says the family. They say Titan and Leo are gentle.
"Big babies. The cops shouldn't have shot them," Lutter said.
The Sheriff's Office says deputies also felt they had to fire on the dogs, because there are kids in the neighborhood. They say they tried other methods to get the dogs to drop the cat. But say the dogs wouldn't.
The Sheriff's Office says the incident is under investigation by Animal Services.