An Imperial Beach is mourning the death of her dog who died at the hands of a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy but at the same time she questions why lethal force was necessary.
The deputy shot and killed one of two dogs that were loose in the 1100 block of 14th Street Tuesday.
Sheriff’s officials say the deputy attempted to contain the dogs when one of them lunged at him, causing him to fear for his safety and shoot.
NBC 7 spoke exclusively to Angelina Peck, who says Brick and Lilly got out accidently but that the one-year-old female, Lilly, did not deserve to die.
“I just hope [the sheriff’s department] comes up with some other way. Pepper spray, taser. I rather you hurt my dog for something that's recoverable than kill my dog,” Peck said.
"The last thing we want to do is shoot somebody's pet," said Lt. Jason Vickery with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. "But sometimes, the situation arises where we don't have a choice and the deputies have to protect themselves as well as the public."
Another sheriff’s official said the department does not have set guidelines to deal with these situations and generally calls animal control officers first. However, if the situation is urgent and they are closer, deputies will handle the initial response.
Peck says there are things she would have done differently to prevent this loss and hopes the sheriff's department feels the same way.
Her other dog, Brick, was recovering from being sedated. Peck planned to pick him up Wednesday morning.
Right now, no one is being harder on Peck than herself.
"I'm dying inside right now," she said. "I really am, and I know some people may not understand."
"It was my job to protect her, and I failed at that."
Peck does not plan to take action against the sheriff's department, but urges them to provide more training for these kinds of situations.