Mississippi family 'afraid' after neighbor shoots dog

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WREG)— A Mississippi family is afraid after finding their dog shot dead.

Monyetta and Melvon Everett are heartbroken over the death of Poseidon, their dog of eight years. Deputies said their neighbor shot the dog out of fear, but the dog’s owners think there's a much deeper reason behind the shooting.

An incident report stated that shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, the neighbor, Joseph Correro, shot the dog after he roamed onto his property.

Correro told authorities the dog was "growling and acting menacing," prompting him to grab his gun and shoot the dog.

The Everetts said their 15-year-old son was outside looking for the dog when it was killed.

"My son, he stood there and called the dog," Monyetta Everett said. "He tried to get him home, and the shots weren't fired until after he started calling."

Correro told deputies he shot the dog once before it fell over, according to the report, and then continued shooting.  An inspection revealed the dog had been shot six times.

"With him being on his property, and he said he was growling at him, OK — one shot," Monyetta Everett said.

The Everetts said the shooting isn't the only thing that disturbs them. The incident report goes on to show Correro told authorities he wanted to keep the dog because "it was on his property," and he didn't want the dog to "leave his property."

"It scares me," Monyetta Everett said. "We're afraid of what he's capable of. We have three other children, and our children are afraid to go outside and play."

Correro disputed the fact that he wanted to keep the dog.

"There was no argument over I wanted to keep the dog as a trophy," he said. "The argument was I didn't want Mr. Everett to have that dog. I wanted the dog to go to animal control for them to dispose of it."

Correro said he and his family now feel unsafe themselves.

"We've had to remove our children from our home due to safety concerns," he said. "Me and my wife have both been receiving death threats."

Correro said this isn't the first time he's had an encounter with Poseidon, and he said he feared for the safety of his children.

"Our family has been in fear since the very first incident when this dog tried to bite me and my son while building the fence," he said. "This is a very unfortunate incident, which we tried to prevent on several occasions.

"We have made several calls to the animal control and were told until someone was bitten, they could not remove the dogs to ensure our protection. Once you have experienced your child go through a dog bite,  you become much more aware of aggressive dogs. My job as a father is to protect my family. I couldn’t let this happen to one of my children again," Correro said.

The Everetts said they had made several efforts in the past to keep their dogs in their yard, even buying a nearly $400 electric fence and a nearly $300 cage.

The Desoto County Sheriff  Department confirmed there have been several incidents in the past between the two neighbors regarding the dogs. Sheriff Bill Rasco said the shooting was justifiable under the county's leash laws and neither party has been charged.