I shot an attacking wild dog in self-defense

By Salil Zaveri

What actually happened on May 8. Media had been misinformed.

Wild stray dogs, possibly rabid. Hunt on the course 24/7/365.

My golf ball? No. Tory’s ball

Defend with a golf club? Club was not in my hands. Cannot pull golf clubs out from a seated position in the golf cart. Have to exit and go behind the cart. Only seconds to defend, and confront 3 wild stray dogs and possibly more of the pack.

Why bring a gun on the golf course (in the town of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)? I carry 24/7/365 except where signs are posted restricting such as a bank. Wild stray dogs can make you their next prey. They had already attacked my friend and his pet dog a few days earlier.

Two shots, then one more? No. Three shots in under a minute. #1 into the abdomen as he was leaping at me when he was under 10 feet away. If I missed, he would have leaped into my lap and clamped onto my windpipe with his jaws. He fell to the ground and was upside down with his head pointed toward me. I checked around me for the other two dogs but they began running away perhaps from the loud gunshot. Then I got out of my cart and walked up to the dog to take shot #2 into the head for mercy but I missed as he was still moving upside down. The shot went directly down into the ground. I saw the hole in the ground. #3 to the head for mercy but due to his motion, it ended up in his neck but he died instantly.

My responsibility would be to report the danger of the wild stray dogs and my self-defense action at the clubhouse to the management and to include the police for an official report.

I was arrested at the 18th hole green before I could reach the clubhouse. See aerial photo for location of the 18th hole, the hole in one and the clubhouse.

My thoughts about the 18th hole witnesses. They did not see the entire incident. They MISREPORTED what actually happened.

My thoughts about the Hole in 1 crowd cheering and the angry comments from everyone. Based on the MISINFORMATION they were told by the 18th hole foursome that I was an animal abuser, they were correct to be angry and applaud my arrest. When the facts are brought out, they will see that I love animals and this was a self-defense situation.

My group was not interviewed prior to my arrest. My arrest was based on the 18th hole group of 4 players who were approximately 200 feet away and would have turned around after hearing the first shot to see me take shot number two and three.

The police and the prosecutor have been very professional and are collecting all the facts. I was treated with care  by the police during transport and custody. Asked me if the cuffs were too tight, provided food… I respect the law and the process. I never disrespected or resisted arrest. I fully cooperated with the arrest and the investigation. They had 4 witnesses (18th hole group) and proceeded. The rest of the witnesses and facts are under investigation.

I love animals. See my history with animals & volunteering…

* Shelter manager for the Nassau County Red Cross for Hurricane Irene in 2011 & Sandy in 2012.

* Former President of a Rotary Club in New York.

* Helped transport 4 Puerto Rico Satos from SJU to DC area airports in 2019. I needed to go to New York but I took the detour to help out the dogs, incurring extra time and expense of renting a car from DC to NY.

*Pirate 1977 (stray, adopted by me).
*Brandy 1979 (stray adopted for mother-law)
*Lana 1980 (stray adopted for mother-in-law)
*Caesar 1984 (stray adopted by me). When he became older, he couldn’t walk so I helped him walk and then we had both hips operated so he can walk again.
*Sophia 2003 (stray cat adopted by us).
*Tux 2006 (stray cat next to be killed at the shelter adopted by us).
*Moo 2009 (stray cat next to be killed at a shelter adopted by us).
*Lucky 2015 (disowned by 2 prior families, adopted by me). Living with us.
*Lila 2016 (welcomed into the family by me). Living with us.
*12/25/20 We helped a lost dog reunite.

I’m not afraid of stray dogs. I often approach them and try to help them. I’m not afraid of just an ordinary dog bite even if they have rabies.

This wild stray dog and its 2 mates + the nearby pack had me in FEAR FOR MY WINDPIPE AND SUBSEQUENT MAULING.

Search YouTube for “wild dogs hunting”. I can point to quite a few examples of what wild stray dogs are capable of doing such as:
I was up against 3 wild stray dogs. These were not the typical stray dogs that we all have seen all our lives. This was not just about a potential dog bite, this was life or death.

Salil Zaveri, who moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Long Island, NY, is the CEO of Zaveri Consulting, LLC (www.ZaveriConsulting.com). The first hearing in his case was moved from May 19 to June 16th.


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