Man gets no charges in dog shooting

Investigation on former county sheriff completed

Columbus police have completed their investigation and are not pursuing criminal charges against a former Bartholomew County sheriff and Columbus City councilman who said he was forced to shoot a dog attacking his pet.

Kenny Whipker was walking his pet beagle, Tina, on a leash at 2:15 p.m. Dec. 4 in a residential area near Ninth and Lafayette streets when Whipker said he heard growling and saw a German shepherd mix go after the beagle.

“I tried to get in between them, but the dog latched onto my dog and bit her, and then bit her again,” said Whipker, who served as county sheriff from 1999 to 2006 and as a city councilman from 2013 to 2015.

Whipker is a certified public safety officer in Indiana and works for the Indiana Department of Correction, carrying a 9mm handgun as part of his work, he said.

The owner of the dog, Betty Broughton, contended Whipker shot the 1-year-old shepherd mix named Axel at point blank range as she held the dog by his chest harness and collar after telling her he was going to do it.

A Columbus city ordinance prohibits people other than public safety officers or soldiers from firing a gun within the city limits, but the ordinance does allow a gun owner to use it for self defense. The ordinance carries a fine of $150 for a violation, with fines increasing for repeat violations.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.