WOUNDED: Cops shot pit bull Coco instead of suspect in Lavender Hill. CREDIT: Supplied

Cops have shot a dog instead of a suspected drug dealer who was fleeing from them.

Coco, a one-year-old pit bull, was struck in the paw while chained to a post in Fawley Court, Lavender Hill, on Friday afternoon.

Her distraught owners say the dog was no threat to police who were chasing a suspect who was allegedly in possession of dagga.

But cops are adamant Coco attacked a police officer and that the man was acting in self-defence when he shot the hondjie.

One of Coco’s owners, 30, who asked not to be identified, explains: “The police were chasing someone with a bag, all the dogs were barking, including Coco.

“This cop just stopped and pointed his firearm at him and shot him in the left paw.

“Coco was in such a shock, he didn’t even bark.”

Coco was rushed to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Grassy Park where he is still receiving treatment.

“They say he may lose his paw, it’s a 50-50 chance it will be amputated,” the man adds.

The man’s brother-in-law, Luke Kiel, aka drag queen Gita, says they are furious because the dog was no threat to the cop.

He says: “He shoots an innocent dog but the criminal gets away. This dog has never attacked anyone in the court.”

Coco’s other owner, Soraya Parker, 68, says she’s been crying non-stop since the incident.

“He is like my baby and sleeps behind my back. I cannot sleep because I am worried about him.”

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut, says the cop was only protecting himself when he shot Coco.

“The member was pursuing a suspect when he was attacked by the dog,” he says.

“The dog survived the incident and was treated.”

Belinda Abraham of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA says Coco is in a stable condition.

She says: “Our Inspectorate have requested that the independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigate the matter.”