Brave dog killers
Animal Hearing Will Determine If Man Who Lost His Wife Will Also Lose His Dog Too
By Jared Keever
An Iowa man whose wife was fatally shot by a police officer in front of him last month now stands to lose his dog as well.
Burlington, Iowa, newspaper, The Hawk Eye, reports police there have scheduled an animal hearing board to convene Feb. 25 to determine if the dog is vicious and decide its fate.
Police believe the dog may have been the catalyst for the apparent accidental shooting on Jan. 6 that left 34-year-old Autumn Steele dead.
The Des Moines Register reported police visited Steele’s home that day in response to a domestic disturbance call. Police found Steele and her husband, Gabriel Steele, outside, in front of their home when they arrived.
Initial reports indicate that as Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill was working to resolve the conflict between the couple, the family dog, Sammy, jumped on the officer.
A neighbor, Ed Ranck, said it appeared as though the German Shepherd startled the officer who in turn tried to shoot the animal.
Investigators believe Hill fired two shots, one of which struck Autumn Steele in the torso. She was taken to a nearby hospital and later died from the wound.
“It appeared he was shooting at the dog when (the officer) fell to the ground. It’s my belief the woman was shot accidentally,” said another witness quoted by The Free Thought Project.
Hill was later treated for a single dog bite. Animal control workers took the dog from the home.
Burlington Police Maj. Dennis Kramer told The Hawk Eye that the hearing for the dog is in compliance with the law.
“We are following city ordinance concerning dog bites,” he said. “The dog attacked a person (Hill), off its property, on the sidewalk. Therefore, our animal control officer was notified.”
Kramer indicated there had been other reports that the dog had shown aggression to postal carriers and other police officers in the past.
If Sammy is declared a vicious dog by the five-person board he will be euthanized.
A Change.org has been started urging the animal hearing board to release Sammy back to the family.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is still investigating the Jan. 6 shooting. Hill remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.
Probation Office Shoots and Kills Dog After Allegedly Pushing the Door Open to Let Him Out
Probation officer was looking for someone who wasn't at the home. Resident says she tried to keep the dog from running outside but the officer prevented her.
KA probation officer in Kern County, California was looking to serve a felony warrant on Faustino Ponce when he tried to push his way into the home of Monica Montoya, where he says he was told Ponce was staying. Montoya says she opened the door to talk to the probation officer but tried to close it again when her dog, a five year old German shepherd chow chow mix named Buddy, got too close. Because the probation officer tried to push the door open, she says, Buddy was able to run out into the front yard. That's when the probation officer feared for his safety and fired a single shot at Buddy, killing him.
KBAK in Bakersfield reports:
"I'm not against probation or police, at all, but I think that they could use different tactics to get him down," [Montoya] said. "He wasn't just our dog, he was like my son, my family. He'd been through everything with us."
Montoya claims her dog's death is unjustified, because the wanted man had never been inside her home.
Chief probation officer T.R. Merickle said he can relate to why the Montoya family is upset.
"I know how much a dog can be a part of the family. I'm a dog owner, I understand that. It's just very unfortunate," he said.
Merickle said his officers are sent into unpredictable situations and trained to make split-second decisions.
"Since AB 109, the probation department has also had to supervise people that are directly released from prison. That raises a different type of population than we've ever had in the past; and it's raised that level of seriousness," he said.
The county probation office says it won't talk about the case specifically since it's under investigation, but Merickle insists probation officers aren't just responsible for protecting themselves in dangerous situations but the community too.
AB109 (and AB117) are public safety "realignment" laws meant to reduce the prison population by keeping "low-level" inmates out of the system.
You want an answer? Here’s you’re answer: Because he’s a punk and because he can and will get away with shooting your dog. There’s your answer
Fort Worth officer shoots dog, family demands answers
FORT WORTH — Robin Ollar Fairchild wants to remember her dog, Shadow, as the sweet, playful pooch she watches now on cell phone videos. But it's the image of her dog clinging to life she can't get out of her head.
"When I walked in, I wasn't expecting to see what I saw," she recalls of yesterday's trip to the vet's office. "My baby. My child. Sitting there on a table with a gunshot wound."
Shadow, a seven-year-old pit bull/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, was shot by Fort Worth police Thursday morning. Police say they were investigating a call about a homeless camp and a loose pit bull in the woods near Loop 820 and Heron Drive.
Fairchild's ex-husband, Lonnie Reynolds, was camping in a tent with Shadow when they heard a noise that startled them.
And he jumped out the door," he says of Shadow, "and as soon as he jumped out the door I heard 'hold your dog'… boom!"
That was the sound of Shadow getting shot once in the shoulder.
In a press release, police say they'd announced themselves first and they shot Shadow because he charged at officers, who feared for their safety. The former couple, who raised Shadow since he was five weeks old, don't buy it.
They've now filed a complaint against Fort Worth PD, which is also conducting its own investigation. A statement from the police department released Friday states that the dog charged toward the officers, and that those officers felt "in fear of their safety." The statement described the dog as an "aggressive animal."
There is lapel camera video of the incident, which police say they will release when the investigation is complete. They also say it supports officers' account of events.
The family hasn't seen it yet but say Shadow didn't have a chance; that police were feet away from the tent when he came out.
As for Shadow, his injuries were so bad, he had to be put down.
"I feel like he was shot for no reason," Fairchild says.
Now all they have are memories and questions, neither of which are very comforting at this moment.