Comments about ‘Sugar House man wants officer fired for shooting dog in his backyard’

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Published: Monday, June 23 2014 9:10 p.m. MDT

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Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

It is ridiculous to kill the dog. Pepper spray would have worked just fine.

I'm sure the officer felt like a big man though

Folsom, CA

If I were attacked by a dog I would shoot it too. Pepper spray takes a little time to work. Sad for both sides. I understand the frustration that the dog was in his yard. This sucks. But no matter how much we love our animals, human life is more important. Glad the 3 year old didn't wonder into that yard.


I would be furious! I had a big male dog in my backyard about 6 years ago. He jumped my fence to find me female lab that was in heat. When my dog started barking I went out to see what was. When I saw the large male dog in my back yard I was shocked. He had no ID tags, so I called the police to impound the dog. While waiting for the officers I played with the big male and found him to be very friendly. Then the officer showed up and the dog went crazy! We couldn't catch him. He was likely 120+ lbs. So the officer started to pull out his gun stating this was a dangerous dog that needed to be put down.

Idaho Falls, ID

I appreciate the service this police officer provided. He was justified in shooting the dog. Not everyone supports the dog owner. Get over it.


The three year old would have been just fine in that back yard.

West Jordan, UT

We're talking about a dog, right? If this had been a man that had attacked this officer and was killed we would probably be calling that officer a hero. This pet owner needs to back off. He's making way too big of a deal over this.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

Yes, we are talking about a dog. A dog that was in a fenced yard and a dog that was not known to be aggressive. Also a dog from a breed that is not known to be aggressive. The dog's owner has every right to be upset and to seek for answers.

Most of my neighbors that have a fenced yard have a dog that would bark at an intruder. I would expect a 10 year veteran to be better prepared to find a dog behind a gate to a fenced yard.

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

So a few of you believe the officer was justified, interesting. So help the rest of us understand, if we followed this officer's thinking, a three year old could unlatch a gate, enter a backyard, re-latch the gate and hang out in this yard - is that what we are to believe? Sorry, I'm just not believing that thinking no matter what type of gate.

Salt Lake City, UT

Let me get this straight: a police officer goes onto someone's private property, sees a dog there (in his yard), the dog "acts aggressively", the cop shoots the dog (on private property) and people are ok with that? It's funny when we think things like "rights" are important and when they're not.

I'm not someone that would even consider myself a big animal person but what a joke. I understand that police have a job to do, and it's a hard one but they shouldn't have the authority to walk around killing things on private property. Once in the backyard, you see there is no child, get out, don't pull out your gun and shoot the poor dog.

I am against lawsuits and things like that but sometimes it's the only way to get change.

Lehi, UT

The standard of "feeling threatened" is too low to be used as an excuse for lethal force; it was too low for George Zimmerman, it is too low when used as an excuse for killing feral cats, it was too low when a retired cop killed a man in cold blood for texting. No one can tell you how you feel and you can choose to feel anything. This wouldn't have been a valid excuse for killing a Bull Terrier in cold blood and it was no excuse for killing a Weimaraner in cold blood. For the record, if you abuse an animal you are 70% more likely to abuse a woman or child. If lethal force is the only tool you have in dealing with a barking dog you should not be wearing the badge of any law enforcement agency and this individual should never be allowed in public safety again; this action is a disgrace to those who honorably and professionally enforce the law and protect public safety.

Provo, UT

You people who are trying to justify this shooting make me sick.

Twardy- I have no idea what would make somebody think pepper spray "takes a little time to work." The reaction is involuntary and instantaneous even for a human; a dog is much more sensitive.

Tracy-, yes, not everyone supports the dog owner; some people are fans of over-the-top violence and cruelty. There was zero justification for shooting the dog.

Rockarolla- the officer wouldn't have been applauded or "called a hero" for entering a home with no warrant, no reason, and no warning, and then shooting its inhabitants when they react to their home being invaded! Killing someone's best friend for no reason is way too big a deal for you or the PD to simply dismiss.

Virginia Beach, Va

The police officer should be fired. If you go into someone's yard the dog who lives there is going to act that way. The police officer was on someone else's property who was not a criminal. The police in our country are totally out of hand....and arrogant.

Sandy, UT

I agree with this guy. Officer needs to be fired . You can not shoot someone's pet in his fenced back yard in an unrelated search. This is unacceptable behavior. I have a Golden Retriever and he barks when someone he does not know comes to our yard . That is what most dogs do. And my Dog Macks is the sweetest dog .This officer needs to go and this guy will get a huge settlement .
This was no random accident . This was a trigger happy officer that probably grabs for his fire arm every chance he gets. This incident may have saved a human life.

mountain man
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't think police officers get any joy out of killing animals. I don't think they get any joy out of pulling out their guns at any time. This guy is not a rookie. He is a seasoned officer. He knows whenever he pulls the trigger there is going to be a lot of analysing and questioning why he used deadly force. He must have had a pretty good reason to take this sort of action. It is unfortunate. It is sad. I'm sure the officer was sad as he left that day. I believe he will be exonerated and his actions will be found warranted. Nevertheless, I am sad for the dog and the dog owner.

Lafayette, IN

The officer had a duty to perform. The dog just did what came natural. The officer was in a bad situation but did not have the option to just walk away. This is just a case of bad luck. No one should be fired.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I understand the love for a dog, I lost a lot of good friends through the years. They aren't called mans best friend for nothing. It's a heart ache when a shared love like that is gone and it takes years, to stop crying. I like to think that their spirit stays with me they will always be in my heart and in my mind. Justis keeps things Righteous.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

@ Troy06

"The three year old would have been just fine in that back yard."

Just how do you know that?

Jackson, TN

Cop was RIGHT!

a 110 lb dog can kill very quickly.

Sandy, UT

Shooting the dog in it's own back yard wasn't unjustified. He could have looked into the yard without necessarily even having to enter. As for pepper spray taking time to work, I seriously doubt it. That stuff produces an instantaneous reaction. Shooting with a tranquilizer dart would take time to work, but NOT pepper spray. This officer was just in a very questionable frame of mind. You should have a bit more control and presence of mind to be running around with a gun and permission to use it. Had the child been in the dog's jaws then shooting it would have been justified but not what happened in this instance. Chances of that three year old being in there in company of that aggressive dog were nil. Common sense should have immediately indicated that - an aggressive dog in an enclosed yard would be well enclosed by the owners. Entry to the yard would be essentially impossible for a three year old child, and if somehow it got in there, you'd know from the screams and uproar with the dog. Wrong mentality on the part of the officer, in my opinion.

Marion, IA

Note; The child was found IN HIS HOME. So explain to me why the home wasn't the first place the police searched. And basic animal behavior is to be protective of their space. This owner had done everything correct, his beloved animal was in his yard, not running loose. The officer should have backed out of the yard and attempted to locate the owner or someone who knew the dog to restrain it if he really wanted to search the yard.

I have had my child go missing, and I would want everything done to find my child but I wouldn't want officers barging into my neighbors yards and killing their beloved pets. We should help by teaching officers how to handle animals that are behaving in territorial ways. I doubt this dog was so aggressive that the officer couldn't back away without shooting twice.

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