Chris Cazin, St. Louis County deputy, kills family's pit bull in controversial incident [PHOTO]

Jacobs with his daughter and Rugar.
Jacobs with his daughter and Rugar.

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On the morning of July 8, Jason Jacobs and his wife, Angie Jarvis, returned to their rural Aurora, Minnesota, home to find their family dog of seven years, Rugar, bleeding profusely.

Once it was determined that Rugar wouldn't be able to survive his injuries, Jacobs suffocated his own dog. "I was crying my eyes out," Jarvis said, recounting the incident to the Duluth News Tribune. A note from the St. Louis County Sheriff's department was left on the door of the house, informing Jacobs of a court order to pay an $1,800 medical bill. It said nothing about why his pit bull was shot and apparently left for dead.

It turned out that St. Louis County Deputy Chris Cazin had visited Jacobs's house while he and his family were away to serve legal papers. When Cazin stopped his car at the end of the home's long driveway, his squad was approached by Rugar and Jacobs's other dog, a boxer-like mixed breed. According to Cazin, the mixed breed wasn't threatening, but Rugar acted aggressively. After he exited his vehicle, Cazin tried firing his Taser into the air in hopes of keeping Rugar away from him, but the dog wouldn't leave him alone. Rugar eventually assumed a "crouched position and charged at me," Cazin said in a police report, and he felt he had no choice but to open fire, shooting Rugar in the nose, through the throat, and into his paw. Rugar retreated into the woods while Cazin posted the note on Jacobs's door and drove away.

Some of the incident was caught on Cazin's squad's camera, but the shooting took place just outside the camera's range. Still, Cazin's superiors believe his account of how the shooting went down.

As St. Louis County investigator Robert Tarr told the Tribune, "based on Deputy Cazin's description of the incident, he was justified in shooting the dog."

But Jacobs and Jarvis are unsatisfied with Cazin's explanation of what happened that morning. For one, they point out that Rugar was known for being a gentle dog and never bit anyone. They also question why Cazin persisted with his effort to try to serve the papers if he felt threatened. Why didn't he simply get back in his vehicle?

"I really don't know what to do about it," Jacobs told the Tribune when asked if he planned to take any legal action against the sheriff's department, but "it doesn't add up."

On the next page, check out the image that ignited a social media firestorm over Rugar's death -- a Facebook photo Jacobs posted of a bleeding Rugar taken after the dog was shot and shortly before he was put out of his misery. Be warned -- it's graphic.


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