SYKESVILLE (WJZ) — A video posted to social media shows a Maryland deputy shoot a groundhog as it was trying to cross a road.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on Old Liberty Rd., near White Rock Rd., when he saw traffic backed up.

A groundhog was walking into the roadway, “causing vehicles to stop and creating a hazard.”

The deputy got out of his vehicle to get the groundhog away from the roadway, but the deputy reported that the groundhog was not acting normally.

“Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured,” the deputy shot the groundhog, and “put the animal down for the public’s safety.”

The woman who posted the video to Facebook says she was shocked, and “did not think that it would take this turn.”

Though she also said she was “sure the officer did the best thing in this situation.”

The sheriff’s office released the following statement:

The deputy was travelling on Rt 26 in the area of White Rock Road when he observed traffic backing up along the road. He found that the groundhog in question was walking into the roadway, causing vehicles to stop and creating a hazard. He got out of his vehicle to assess, and as he tried to direct the groundhog off of the roadway, he realized that it was not responding as expected for an animal that was not being cornered or trapped. Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s safety.

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Comments (20)
  1. Kirk McLoren says:

    Normally very shy. Must have been sick.

  2. Shooting on a hard surface……..for no good reason. Get a blanket or a box. ( all patrol cars have a blanket)

  3. was it necessary? not trying to cause a controversy but was it necessary out in the public? can i kill ground hogs that eat the vegetables in my garden?

  4. Had he gotten out of its was he might have crossed the road and been gone into the bushes. To kill the animal is stupid. They could have tossed a blanket over it and took it somewhere for treatment or to release it. Humans are stupid for the most part.

  5. police are peoples too, right? wrong, they are worse then animals with a uniform and a gun but no brains

  6. Pete Miller says:

    You judgmental people…. Sheesh, none of you were close to the situation as the officer. I’m thankful the officer acted in the manner he did. The animal was not acting normal, and should have run away from the officer instead of towards him. Then people would have been mad if it gave their dog rabies or some other disease.

  7. Having had encounters with many groundhogs growing up on a farm. Based on the video I would suspect the animal was simply returning to it’s burrow, if it had young that would be why it was so determined to cross the road.
    IMO the cop should have just gotten out of the path of the animal and let it go about it’s merry way.

  8. Well, he tried… If there was a chance it had rabies, better to shoot it than go anywhere near it.

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