The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office says a deputy did not violate department policy after he shot and killed an injured dog on the side of the road.

It happened Wednesday night on Lowe Road in Cohutta, Georgia.

The deputy said the dog appeared to have a broken leg, hip, and/or back injury after it was apparently hit by a car.

The situation has some animal advocates questioning the vague department policies that deal with injured animals.

"Some pet owners are not going to want to leave it to an officer to put that animal out of its misery," said Jamie McAloon, Executive Director of McKamey Animal Center. "Not knowing for sure, was it just a broken leg? I don't want my dog put down for a broken leg, and most people wouldn't."

An incident report explains how Deputy Jordan Williams found a small black and white dog that appeared to have a broken leg and injuries to its hips or back.

The dog was unable to move its hind legs. The deputy decided to shoot the dog, twice, with his department-issued handgun.

A spokesperson for Whitfield County Sheriff's Office told Channel 3 the deputy did not violate any policies.

"If my dog was shot at the scene, I would be upset because, of course, I'd want to seek veterinary care," McAloon said. "But I certainly can understand if an animal is writhing in pain, and it is obvious that this animal is definitely that's going to have to be euthanized."

McAloon explained resources for injured animals can vary by county.

"Some counties are better than others about allocating resources, that when an animal is injured in the middle of the night, they've got somewhere at least to take it until they can find an owner, or they can at least have it humanely put down," she said.

Employees at the Whitfield County Animal Shelter said their office was never contacted before the dog was killed.

The Sheriff's Office explained department policy allows deputies to use their discretion if they find an animal critically injured and cannot reach its owners.

It's still unclear who the dog's owners are.

Experts said if your pet is in a similar situation, having identification like a collar, tag, or microchip could help save its life.