Des Moines police to investigate fatal dog shooting

DES MOINES, Wash. – The Des Moines Police Department has launched an investigation into this week’s deadly shooting of a family dog by a police officer.

In a statement released early Saturday, the department said it “understands the great concern the public has regarding this very sad event.”

“We believe public service requires public trust, and that public trust demands public accountability,” the statement says. “We are currently gathering as much information as possible to try and determine how the events of the incident unfolded, and whether the shooting was within department policy.”

The Seattle Humane Society has been demanding an investigation after the incident on Sunday, when officers shot the Newfoundland named Rosie after she slipped out of her owner’s yard.

In a letter to the Des Moines City Council, the Humane Society said “it believes the city owes the community an investigation and explanation,” saying this “killing appears wholly unnecessary.”

Someone in the neighborhood had called 911 after they saw Rosie wandering and running into traffic.

Des Moines Sgt. Bob Collins said officers tried to help Rosie, but every time they got close to the 200-pound dog, “the dog would actually approach them and show its teeth.”

But Lola Perry, whose backyard was where Rosie was eventually shot, says the shooting should never have happened.

“I was shocked to see an assault rifle,” Perry said. “I was shocked to see three police officers aiming their guns at a dog that was a huge dog, but I mean the dog was no threat.”

She says the dog wasn’t aggressive at all.

“It didn’t appear dangerous. She appeared afraid, because she immediately hid from me.”

But Collins earlier said the bottom line was that the officer believed his safety and the general public’s safety was in jeopardy. “And the officer decided to take lethal force,” he said.

The Des Moines Police Department said it will have no further comments on the incident until the investigation is complete.

“At this point it is inappropriate for us to reach any conclusions until our review is completed,” the police statement said. “We will be waiting for the completion of our investigation and review board before making any further public comment.”

The officer who killed Rosie was: Michael Graddon

More information on this case can be found here: