It is estimated that every 98 minutes a dog is shot by law enforcement. Earlier this week a Texas cop was fired after shooting a pet dog in the head. Incidents like these have many animal lovers outraged, leading some to call these canine-cop confrontations nothing short of puppycide.
Cindy Boling was heartbroken reliving the day a cop showed up and shot her dog, Lily, in her backyard.
“He pulled out his gun and just bam! He shot our baby in the back,” Cindy told INSIDE EDITION tearfully. “You hold her and you scream and you ask God why?”
She is not alone. INSIDE EDITION spoke to several pet owners who say their beloved dogs were shot by trigger-happy policemen. Making the incidents all the more heartbreaking, the shootings all occurred after police showed up at the wrong address.
Boling of Ft. Worth, Texas, Brittney Moore of Erie, Colorado, Renata Simmons of Liberty Hill, TX and Cheye Calvo, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, all say cops needlessly gunned down their dogs.
Vinny, a German Shepherd, was shot when an officer from the Leander Police Department in Texas thought a fugitive was hiding out in Simmons house. Unfortunately, it wasn't only the wrong address, it was also the wrong town.
Simmons said, “Vinny was hit here. It came down in through his shoulder and lodged in his stomach.”
The officer, Woodson Blase was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Erie, Colorado police officer Jamie Chester claims he was forced to fire on a German Shepard named Ava when she acted aggressively. But her, owner, Brittney Moore begs to differ.
INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret asked, “You saw the whole thing. Was there any justification for that officer to shoot and kill your dog?”
“No. Absolutely not,” replied Moore.
The aftermath of the shooting was caught on tape by a neighbor who said, “They fired on the dog for some reason, and now she's going nuts.”
On the tape you can here Moore walk up to Officer Chester and scream, “You killed my dog!”
The neighbor filming was so taken aback he also confronts Officer Chester, who strode over to ask him why he was recording. “We've lived across the street from this dog for a really long time, and I'm, I'm shocked that a gun was drawn on that poor dog,” The neighbor said.
Officer Chester was cleared of allegations he used excessive force.
Moret caught up with Officer Chester on his day off. “So you don’t want to talk about the shooting incident?
“I’m not authorized to say anything. She’s still suing me,” replied Officer Chester.
Denver animal rights attorney Jennifer Edwards is representing Moore in a lawsuit she’s filed against Officer Chester over Ava’s death. Edwards also currently represents another dog owner, Gary Branson, who’s mixed-breed dog Chloe was shot an killed by Commerce City police officer Robert Price. Both of these high-profile incidents will be featured in a new documentary by Ozymandias Media called Puppycide.
The incident involving Chloe occurred after the dog got loose and was barking in street. A next-door neighbor called 911 to report an aggressive dog.
When an animal control officer who first arrived on the scene is unable to catch Chloe, she calls for back up. That's when Commerce City police officer Robert Price and another officer responded. The three officers had no idea that the young son of the neighbor who called 911 was recording what happened next on his cell phone from across the street.
In the video footage, you can see Chloe sitting in the garage before the officers advance and loop her around the neck with a catch pole. Then Officer Price pulls out his taser and fires twice at Chloe. But it didn’t end there. Shortly thereafter, Officer Price draws his sidearm and then shoots at Chloe five times!
“Chloe was murdered. There’s no two ways about it. They shoot first and ask questions later,” said Edwards.
After the cell phone video surfaced, Officer Price was charged with animal cruelty, but a jury found him not guilty.
The problem is getting so serious, many departments like New Haven, Connecticut P.D., are asking dog behavior expert Brian Kilcommons to teach officers how to deal with aggressive animals without using lethal force. In addition to making every attempt to ask dog owners to leash and calm their dog down whenever possible, Kilcommons also suggests officers on patrol carry dog treats in their car.
Killcommons said, “We’re trying to help people, especially police officers, so their day doesn’t have to be ruined, the dog doesn’t have to die and owners don’t have to be heartbroken.”
Police officers say they never want to have to shoot a pet, but when they feel they're safety is in jeopardy, they have no choice.
After the shootings of Ava and Chloe, a new law was passed in Colorado requiring officers be trained on how to better react to dogs. Similar laws have been proposed in TX, NV and CA.
For more information on the upcoming documentary Puppycide, go to puppycide.com.