Father concerned after police shoot dog near son
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) — The family of a dog shot by police is glad their pet survived, but the father is concerned after officers opened fire so close to his son.
The Jones’ family dog “Baxter” is recovering but can barely move after being shot several times.
Friday night, Pembroke Pines Police were called out to the Jones’ house along Southwest 171st Terrace after reports that Baxter was on the loose.
Thirteen-year-old Cameron Jones witnessed everything as police arrived. “When I got outside they said get your dog or we are going to shoot him,” said Cameron. “They gave me two seconds and shot him six times.”
The family immediately rushed Baxter to an animal hospital. “It just felt like a movie, I was so traumatized. It didn’t feel right that they shot him six times,” said Cameron.
Paul Jones, Cameron’s father, says what worries him is that the entire incident happened in front of his teenager. “My biggest concern is that six shots were fired 17-feet from my son,” he said. “Only three landed in the dog. Did the officer have my son’s safety in mind?”
Police say Baxter bit one of the officer’s ankles, forcing them to fire. But a neighbor says that story is doubtful. “I said, ‘Show me the bite marks.’ He said, ‘Well I am not going to let a dog bite the officer and then shoot.’ I said, ‘OK well then you’re changing the story,'” said the neighbor.
Cameron says he is happy his dog survived.
Paul hopes other families do not have to go through this experience, especially young family members. “I want that this doesn’t happen to another family,” he said. “My son is traumatized.”
The Pembroke Pines Police Department said they do not have a comment at this time.
St. Paul Cops Shoot Dog in Wrong-Door Raid, Force Handcuffed Kids to Sit Near the Corpse
Mike Riggs|Aug. 10, 2012 8:43 am
A St. Paul, Minnesota family claims in a lawsuit that police officers who conducted a wrong-door raid on their home shot their dog, and then forced their three handcuffed children to sit near the dead pet while officers ransacked the home. The lawsuit, which names Ramsey County, the Dakota County Drug Task Force, and the DEA, and asks for $30 million in civil rights violations and punitive damages after a wrong-door raid, also claims that the officers kicked the children and deprived one of them of her diabetes medication.
The suit also alleges that one of the lead officers with the task force “provided false information” in order to get a warrant to raid the Franco family’s home. (That information being the Franco family’s address, and not that of their supposedly criminal neighbor Rafael Ybarra.)
And boy, did Ybarra miss out on a horrific raid. Courthouse News reports:
But on the night of July 13, 2010, the task force broke down the Francos’ doors, “negligently raided the home of plaintiffs, by raiding the wrong home and physically brutalizing all the above-named occupants of said house,” the complaint states.
Even after learning that they were in the wrong house, the complaint states, the drug busters stayed in the Francos’ home and kept searching it.
They “handcuffed all of the inhabitants of the plaintiffs’ home except plaintiff Analese Franco who was forced, virtually naked, from her bed onto the floor at gunpoint by officers of the St. Paul Police Department SWAT team and officers of the St. Paul Police Department.”
The complaint states: “Upon forcibly breaching the plaintiffs’ home, defendants terrorized the plaintiffs at gun and rifle point.
“Each plaintiff was forced to the floor at gun and rifle point and handcuffed behind their backs.
“Defendants shot and killed the family dog and forced the handcuffed children to sit next to the carcass of their dead pet and bloody pet for more than an hour while defendants continued to search the plaintiffs’ home.”
One child “was kicked in the side, handcuffed and searched at gunpoint,” the family says.
Another child, a girl, “a diabetic, was handcuffed at gunpoint and prevented by officer from obtaining and taking her medication, thus induced a diabetic episode as a result of low-blood sugar levels.”
Shawn Scovill of the taskforce may have raided the wrong house, but he didn’t want to let the opportunity to rifle through someone’s things go to waste. So he and his team ransacked the Franco house for over an hour, and managed to find a .22 caliber pistol in the “basement bedroom of Gilbert Castillo,” which the suit says they attributed to the head of the Franco household, Roberto Franco. According to the suit, Franco was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, and remains behind bars. (If anyone can weigh in on the legal loophole that might allow evidence seized during a wrong-door raid to be used in court, please fill me in. Also, are Minnesota gun laws that strict?)
Since the DEA is named in the suit, the Francos’ legal team will likely find itself going head-to-head with Obama administration lawyers, who argued a similar case earlier this year before the Ninth Circuit. Short recap of the proceedings: The DOJ sought a summary dismissal of a lawsuit filed against seven DEA agents for their rough treatment of a family of four–mother, father, two very young daughters–during a wrong-door raid conducted during the Bush administration. The Ninth Circuit, denied the DOJ’s request for a summary dismissal, and drew a bright line between how adults are treated during raids, and how children are treated during raids.
So there’s reason to hope that any request of a summary dismissal of the Francos’ case (by local law or federal attorneys) won’t fly based simply on allegations that the children were cuffed, kicked, deprived of medicine, and made to sit near their dead pet for an hour. But I don’t think suing over the wrong-door aspect will get the Franco family very far, unless they can prove the mistake on the warrant was intentional and that the officers were aware of the address error before the raid was conducted.
DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A dog was killed recently as the Morgan County Drug Task Force served a search warrant. Now, the Sheriff’s Office is fielding complaints about the animal’s death.
The dog was shot while the Morgan County Drug Task Force was conducting a search for illegal sales/possession of narcotics and marijuana at the Cedar Key Apartments in Decatur. Four people were arrested.
Someone has set up a Facebook page called ‘Justice for Aubie’, the golden retriever who was shot. Be warned, the Facebook page contains graphic pictures of the dog after it was shot.
It’s not clear who set up the page. It only says it was “created in honor of Aubie, a golden retriever who was shot and killed without reason during a search by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sheriff Franklin said at a news conference that the information on the Facebook page is wrong. “The comments on Facebook are inaccurate,” Franklin said at a Monday afternoon news conference. “It’s false. It’s intended to mislead the public and to alarm them and aggravate them.”
Franklin says deputies were forced to shoot the dog when it lunged at them. She says comments that deputies should have called in animal services before deputies entered are ridiculous. Franklin says deputies were forced with a split second decision and they did the right thing.
Franklin also issued a warning. “If you’re a dope dealer and you’ve got a dog,” Franklin warned. “And you’ve got that dog to protect you, and you’ve got that dog to try and limit us, then you need to be aware of the fact that if it makes an aggressive move toward us, or anybody else, there is a possibility it’s going to be shot.”
Topeka police officer shoots, kills dog
Posted: May 7, 2012 – 9:40pm
By Ann Marie Bush
Several neighbors in the 1100 block of S.W. Plass Ave. were upset Monday night after a Topeka police officer drew his weapon and shot a dog to death.
“He drew his gun and fired five or six shots,” said neighbor Constantinos Miklas Acton. “He killed that dog dead for no reason.”
Acton said he was painting guttering on the front of his house about 7 p.m. Monday when he saw a uniformed officer approach a neighbor’s house and knock on the door.
Acton said the officer didn’t get an answer so he walked across S.W. Plass Avenue and made contact with Acton. The officer told Acton there had been a call about a barking dog, Acton said. After the two spoke briefly, the officer went back to the house and Acton went back to work. A few minutes later, Acton took a break and saw the dog, a German shepherd and border collie mix, galloping playfully toward the officer.
A few seconds later, shots rang out.
“He knew I saw it,” Acton said. “He really got hot under the collar.”
Topeka police Sgt. Jennifer Cross didn’t release the officer’s name Monday night. She did confirm there had been several calls made about a barking dog and another dog possibly loose in the area.
She said the officer tried to make contact with the dog’s owner, and when the dog approached the officer, “he felt in danger.”
“His training is to protect himself,” Cross said.
Detectives and officers spent more than an hour talking to neighbors. Cross said the investigation is ongoing.
On Monday night, several neighbors watched as police worked in the driveway where the dog was shot at 1181 S.W. Plass.
The owners of the dog, who arrived at the scene after the shooting, were visibly upset.
One woman shouted at a group of officers that she was upset they shot and killed the dog when there are other crimes happening in Topeka.
Neighbor Audrey Dukes said the dog, who neighbors call Dallas, often played with her children and was friendly. Dukes said she saw the dog earlier in the evening without a leash. She added that the dog never was unfriendly toward her three children.
She said she is upset because the officer fired several shots at a “friendly dog when we have a block full of kids outside playing.”
When Dukes tried to talk to the officer who shot the dog and a corporal on the scene, she said she was treated rudely.
“They told me to mind my own business,” Dukes said. “They wouldn’t tell us anything. We had a police officer out here who shot a dog five or six times. I think the Topeka police handled this poorly. There was no way that dog was aggressive. And five or six shots? I don’t know the reason the officer had to shoot Dallas. It’s unbelievable.”
Harrisonburg Police Officer Accused of Killing Family Dog
NOTE: Visit the above website to see the full video of the newscast!
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office says a Harrisonburg Police Officer shot a family dog a few weeks ago in Clover Hill.
Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson says Sgt. Russell Metcalf with the Harrisonburg Police Department admits to shooting the dog while riding his bike.
Now, the dog’s family says they want justice for their dog’s death.
“Whether it was a police officer or not, it should not have happened,” said Becky Bonds, the dog owner’s daughter.
Bonds’ parents’ dog Sadie was shot to death right outside their home.
Neighbors are shocked to hear that a Harrisonburg Police Officer is accused of pulling the trigger.
“Being a police officer, if he would just shoot an animal for no reason, you have to wonder you know, what else would they do?” said Tammy Evans, a neighbor.
Bonds says she would bring her dog Cooper to play with Sadie all the time.
“He’s very timid around other dogs and she really was one of the only other dogs that he would play with, just rough and tumble having fun out in the yard, having fun together,” said Bonds.
She says Sadie was not intimidating at all.
“She wasn’t very big, she was maybe 20 pounds,” said Bonds. “She was on the smaller side of the border collie lab mix and she was just really sweet, loved to have her belly rubbed, sometimes would get so excited to see people that she’d have little accidents on the carpet.”
Bonds and her parents posted flyers all over the community, asking for help to find the man who killed their dog.
Now that they know who the Sheriff says he is, Bonds says this man should be held accountable for his actions.
“She was not mean in any way and didn’t deserve this, so we hope justice is served in some way so that you know something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Bonds.
Bonds says a family with a one-year-old girl lives right next to where their dog was shot. She says no one should be using a gun in that neighborhood.
No charges have been filed yet. The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case.
Owner Says Police Unnecessarily Shot Dog
Thursday May 10, 2012 10:47 PM
UPDATED: Thursday May 10, 2012 10:48 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A dog owner Thursday was distraught because police said that they were forced to shoot her pet.
According to the owner, Amber, who did not want to use her last name, police showed up at her south Columbus home thinking there was a domestic dispute.
The dispute ended up being at the house next door, 10TV’s Justin Moss reported.
According to police, when a man answered the door at the house, a 5-year-old pitbull ran outside at the officer.
The officer said that he was forced to shoot the dog.
“It’s an elevated porch,” Columbus police Lt. Dave Hughes said. “The officer took a couple of steps back, when the dog was coming at him, and he shot twice. The dog was basically right at his feet.”
Amber said that the man was holding their dog by its collar.
“He said the dog did not bark but came directly at him in an aggressive stance,” Hughes said.
The officer who fired shots was uninjured by the dog, Moss reported.
Amber said that the dog had to be put down.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re glad our officer didn’t get hurt, and we’re sorry that the dog had to be shot, but sometimes these things do happen, unfortunately,” Hughes said.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.
Austin Police Officer Fatally Shoots Dog After Going To Wrong Address
Austin Police Department, Michael Paxton, Officer Thomas Griffin, Sgt. David Daniels
AUSTIN, Texas (CBS Houston) – An Austin police officer fatally shoots a dog after showing up at the wrong address for a domestic violence call.
When police officer Thomas Griffin arrived to the address last Saturday, he witnessed Michael Paxton playing Frisbee with his dog, Cisco.
According to reports obtained by CBS Houston, the officer yelled at Paxton to show him his hands. The police car dashboard cam then caught Cisco coming to his owner’s rescue by barking at the officer. The officer responded by yelling, “Get your dog!”
Griffin then opened fire on Cisco, killing the dog.
“The dog ran to his feet, he lowered his aim and shot the dog and raised his aim back up at me and told me to get back,” Paxton told WAFB-TV. “My dog never made a move to attack him other than the challenging him and barking. He ran to his feet.”
The Austin Police Department issued an apology for the incident. Per department policy, an investigation always takes place after an officer fires their weapon.
Police did not answer why the officer used a firearm instead of a stun gun.
“We are not going to second-guess our officer,” Sgt. David Daniels told KSEE-TV. Sgt. Daniels also added that officers have a right to use their weapons if they feel threatened by animals.
Paxton says the dog had never bitten anybody and would not have bitten the officer.
“He shows that behavior, then he sniffs you and wants to be scratched,” Paxton told KSEE-TV.
Paxton and his supporters have set up a Facebook page called “Justice for Cisco” which already has more than 60,000 supporters. He is discouraging any negative comments about the officer.
“I can’t bring my dog back, but I want something positive to come out of this,” he told KSEE.
Officer Griffin is still on active duty.
NC Cops Shoot Dog then Gas Him to Death, “Counseled” Not to Gas Pets in Future
January 8, 2012
In Thomasville NC, police officers are charged with handling animal control duties on weekends. Last year on Thanksgiving weekend, Thomasville police officer Lee Patton and Cpl. Jeff McCrary responded to a call about an aggressive dog at large. Officer Patton reportedly shot the dog in the face and shoulder after the dog “charged” him. The wounded dog ran away but was later located on a nearby street. Several residents gathered at the scene of the shooting. In order to protect these residents, the officers loaded up the wounded dog, drove him to the Davidson Co Animal Shelter – operated by the Davidson Co sheriff’s office – stuffed him in the gas chamber and flipped the switch.
Several questions arise:
Was lethal force the only option available to the officers when the loose dog “charged”? Could a catch pole, tranquilizer or non-lethal weapon have been utilized instead?
After the wounded dog ran away and was found nearby, was he still a threat to the residents who had gathered at the scene of the shooting? Would that threat have been eliminated simply by removing the dog from the scene and bringing him to a vet clinic or shelter for care?
Did the officers scan the dog for a microchip, examine him for ID tags and tattoos, check lost dog reports, post the dog online or make any effort whatsoever to locate the dog’s owner before gassing him?
Did the officers complete the appropriate records in conjunction with the dog’s killing? Did they verify death using a method prescribed by state law after the gassing cycle was complete? Did they clean the gas chamber and dispose of the dog’s carcass in accordance with state law?
NC state law dictates that only a “certified euthanasia technician” may kill pets at a shelter and prohibits the gassing of pets who are “near death”. Neither officer in this case is a certified euthanasia technician. It is unknown if the dog was near death at the time of gassing but having been shot in the face and been rendered unable to flee more than a block away, it’s certainly a relevant question to my mind.
Shelley Swaim, a state animal welfare technician and Lee Hunter, a veterinarian and the director of the N.C. Veterinary Division’s animal welfare division, investigated the killing. [Note to readers: Sit down. Hold on to something solid. Remember to breathe.]
[T]he officers didn’t technically violate the code because they are not shelter employees and are not covered by it, Hunter said.
As of a December 27, 2011 letter written by Thomasville Police Chief Jeff Insley, officers are now prohibited from using the gas chamber at the pound. And:
[T]he two officers who euthanized the dog were counseled about using the shelter’s equipment, including its gas chamber.
So there ya go. Honestly, the determination that NC state law doesn’t apply to the actions of these officers at the pound because they are not employed by the pound makes the Chewbacca Defense seem well-reasoned and logical. I fear this finding could be interpreted as an open call to wannabe pet killers to stroll on into any NC pet gassing facility and fulfill their heart’s desire since they too can likely avoid prosecution by claiming they don’t work for the pound. Assuming they can face the “counseling”, of course.
By Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Friday, March 2, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG — Esther Flesner saw white fur streak past her seconds before she heard the gunshots and saw her daughter’s dog bleeding on the sidewalk.
Phero, the dog many in the Crescent Lake neighborhood knew and loved, was dead.
The shooting occurred when St. Petersburg police responded to an apartment house Thursday afternoon at 421 10th Ave. N after multiple 911 callers reported people yelling, officials said. At least one caller said someone had a knife. Then police heard there was a stabbing.
When officers arrived, they drew their guns, then saw what was described as a pit bull terrier charging them from the back of the house, officials said. Officer Jeremy Hayes fired three times from about 10 feet away.
“He (the dog) just barely got out and I heard BOOM BOOM on the curb,” said Flesner, 87, who owns the four-unit house.
Phero died on the sidewalk.
Police found that a man and a woman had been drinking and arguing, but no one was injured, officials said.
Debra Vachon, 58, Flesner’s daughter, has cared for the dog since her son adopted it four years ago. Vachon, who lives in one of the apartments, was at work at the time of the shooting but came home afterward.
Vachon sat weeping in the back of a sport utility vehicle hours after the shooting as she caressed a yellow sheet that shrouded her dog’s lifeless body.
“He’s not a pit bull, that’s the thing,” Vachon said. “He doesn’t look like a regular dog because they cropped his ears too short.”
Vachon said her neighbors, David Florian and Kelli Applegate, were making the racket that drew police.
She said she allowed them access to the dog, but they did not have permission to let him out.
“They’re just drunk and they’re disorderly,” Vachon said.
Florian had hovered over Phero’s body and cried moments after the shooting.
“That dog would protect your firstborn,” he said hours later as he sat inside a screened-in porch drinking a can of beer with seven empties stacked nearby. “Everybody’s mad at me. If it wasn’t for me hollerin’ the cops wouldn’t have come. They wouldn’t have shot the g- – d- – – dog.”
Hayes will remain on duty while the department investigates, said police spokesman Mike Puetz. Vachon said she didn’t blame the officer.
Phero’s death is the latest in a string of dog shootings involving St. Petersburg police. In 2011, officers were involved in at least seven fatal dog shootings, prompting police Chief Chuck Harmon to change a number of policies for dealing with dogs.
Times staff writer Jamal Thalji and photographer Kathleen Flynn contributed to this report. Reach Dan Sullivan at (727) 893-8321.
Family says officer overreacted
Author: Kellie Butler, General assignment reporter, kbutler@Local10.com
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. –
A Pembroke Pines family believes a police officer overreacted when he opened fire on their dog.
The 6-year-old Australian Shepherd was shot at least three times Friday night inside the gated Lido Isle neighborhood.
Someone called police to report the dog, named Baxter, was loose in front of the owner’s house.
The dog’s owner, Frank Jones, said when police arrived, Baxter was already back inside the house but the front door was open. Jones said when police went to the door to talk to the family, Baxter ran outside.
Cameron Jones, 13, came outside to talk to police. He said Baxter was barking at the officers, but police officials said the dog bit an officer’s shoe.
At least one police officer opened fire. Cameron Jones witnessed the shooting, saying he was only standing about 20 feet away from his dog at the time.
Baxter survived and is being treated at a Cooper City animal clinic.
A Pembroke Pines police spokesman said the shooting is under investigation but at this point it appears the officer was justified in opening fire.
“The officer was being attacked,” said Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Chris Chacon-Chang.
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