The incident reportedly began when troopers were called to the scene where two neighbors were having a nonviolent dispute.
Randall Hupp, who witnessed the apparent assault, describes the moments leading up to the officer drawing his weapon. From TheFreeThoughtProject.com:
Things were going fine and my son decided to film for posterity sake in case anything should happen. There were two dogs present in the area at the time of the video, a black dog which was the neighbors dog that was running loose...and [my neighbor's] dog, which was chained up.
When Hupp's daughter saw the officer draw his weapon, she stepped in. For her efforts in preventing the officer from shooting the dog, she was reportedly hit with misdemeanor "obstruction" charges.
Response online to the footage above has been condemning the officer's actions, though it's unclear if he breached the law.
The Dodo contacted the West Virginia State Police, but the sergeant privy to the case was not immediately available for comment.
Police shootings of family pets are more widespread than people might think. According to some animal welfare activists, dogs are killed by law enforcement at a rate of one every 98 minutes, despite nonlethal options being on hand.