Durban - Phoenix resident Bernstein Reddy returned home last week to find his five-year-old German shepherd dog dead - shot and killed by an on-duty policeman who thought the dog was going to attack him when he entered Reddy’s yard.

Reddy, who was not home when the shooting took place, said one of his employees was parking a work vehicle in his driveway when a dog from across the road ran through the open gate.

His employee told him that the intruding dog, which belonged to the policeman’s girlfriend, started fighting with his German shepherd, named Tyson.

The dogs had made their way to the backyard as they fought, and the driver followed them. The policeman had also followed his girlfriend’s dog with the aim of retrieving it.

In an attempt to separate the animals, Reddy’s employee threw water on the dogs, which then separated.

It is alleged that, when they split the policeman fired a single shot at Tyson, apparently because he felt it was going to attack him.

It is not right. It was not right for him to shoot my dog. I am very disturbed by this,” said Reddy.

He had laid a charge against the officer, as he wanted “justice to be done”.

“I have seen the policeman in the neighbourhood, and even greeted him on occasion.”

Reddy said his young son had been traumatised when he explained to him what had happened to their pet.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of malicious damage to property had been opened at Phoenix police station.

“The police officer allegedly involved was on duty at the time, but cannot be named, since he has not yet been charged.”

Zwane said that the case was under investigation and, once complete, would be sent to the public prosecutor.

The Mercury