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Sugar House man wants officer fired for shooting dog in his backyard

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  • CygnusX2112 eht, NJ
    July 1, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    Why didn't Brett Olsen look over the fence from front or sides?? Why didn't he identify himself in a loud voice as a police officer?? Make some noise bang on the fence??? Dogs have good hearing...Or Call Sean???....Why don't we get answers to this???? Yet you managed to call Sean Kendall after Geist was murdered???....

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    June 28, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    Occasionally someone exhibits the kind of behavior that indicates that they lack the character, personality, and/or temperament to properly handle the job they currently have. Regardless of excuses and justification by politicians, allies, unions, coworkers, etc., the proper course of action is to separate such individuals from their current employment so they are free to pursue careers that better fit their particular qualifications. It's reality, and it's a fact of life--and one that requires definite appropriate action.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    June 28, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    In my work, I have occasion to enter on the premises of dogs.
    I have always been met by the dog with cautious curiosity which turns to acceptance once I have stood still and exercised patience and allowed the dog to check me out.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    @Flashback...All I hear now is crickets! Apparently I was dead on regarding your police background.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    This reminds me of a case we dealt with before I retired. Cop came to a home for a child welfare check. Home owner's five-pound chihuahua ran up to the cop, barking furiously. Cop responded by emptying his entire can of pepper spray on the dog, as well as managing to spray the whole family including the child he was checking on. Stuff got into the heating vents and the whole home had to be decontaminated. My point is, legal justifications aside, some people simply lack the good judgment and quick thinking to be cops, and someone who sees everything as a threat to his safety probably shouldn't be carrying a gun or pepper spray. (And we got a five-figure settlement from the city for the client. Not a huge amount, but everyone agreed it was fair.)

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 26, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    re:aghast

    what the officer did was very wrong and unjust. There are so many things here that warrant that the police dept be fined - the officer disciplied - and the dog owner given very generaous compensation for his loss. Barging into some someones private property and killing his dog who by the way was doing what any good dog should do and that is protect and defend the home. This is careless and even lawless behavior by the officer who could have and should have been more careful BEFORE entering the property and also been carrying some sort of pepper spray. Dogs are part of the family and losing them is tragic. No one is suggesting the dog is the same as a human being but you don't see the police dept making any excuse for this officer either.

  • sbslabradors los angeles, CA
    June 25, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    If the child was in her home the entire time why wasn't her house searched FIRST?

  • sbslabradors los angeles, CA
    June 25, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    How is it the meter reader got into this backyard and dozens of others with no incident?

  • Kronk Blackfoot, ID
    June 25, 2014 2:00 a.m.

    My little 12-lb terrier, the sweetest dog around, barks defensively when anyone unknown comes into the back yard, whether dog, cat, or human. Is she the next one to get shot for acting viciously in defending her own back yard? Because we all know how violent and vicious both terriers and weimaraners are.

  • sbslabradors los angeles, CA
    June 24, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    Coming from a law enforcement family with friends on the job I say to you with all clarity this is a rogue cop.

    He is a danger to his fellow officers and anyone he comes in contact with. He should be fired. He lack of judgement is staggering.

  • CygnusX2112 eht, NJ
    June 24, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    Bottom line. There would be NO dog murder if the officer had not violated Mr. Kendall's 4th amendment rights. It was illegal entry into a secure gated fenced yard. The child wasn't seen or heard in the yard. Reported on or around the house. Could not have opened then closed the gate. Tunneled under or climbed over the fence. Mr Kendall wasn't a suspect. Further there was no other physical evidence like a torn piece of clothing etc on the ground to indicate a child was in the yard.....

    The officer should be terminated and charged with 2 felony's and trespassing....

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    June 24, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    I have a female Golden Retriever, kindest dog in the world. When another person goes down the ally she barks, tail up, hair on neck standing up. Appearance is aggressive, but if you come face to face she stops wags her tail and will be your best friend. If you don't know Golden's you would be intimidated. That being said, the officer was not justified in his actions. He did not have reasonable knowledge to enter the property, pulled his weapon and displayed a pure lack of judgement. He needs to be held accountable through disciplinary action, the department needs to provide restitution for the pain, suffering and mental anguish of the owner and develop a policy for these types of situations.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    @Flashback...Well the D.N. monitors are at it once again with their censorship so I'm down to my last opportunity to retort. (Probably shouldn't even use the one exclamation point). Sir may I say yet another highly intellectual and eloquent post. Did you happen to be present when this dog was shot? (Keep in mind this is a rhetorical question). Seems to me that you should follow your own advice and "get off the backs" of those that support this dog owner and are against the ever growing number of trigger happy cops. Especially in this city! In closing, as a defense attorney I can guarantee with certainty that you are or have been a police officer. Can spot you all from miles away. Am I correct about your police background?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    No one is saying pets are humans and are literal members of the family. But to say "What's the big deal -- your dog got shot, get over it" is ridiculous. The dog was not loose. It was in its own yard. The cop should NOT have shot it. He could have pepper sprayed it or he could have backed away. I don't think the officer should be fired, but he should likely be reprimanded unless there are some facts that we are unaware of.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    @Hahaha -- If you can't see the difference between a living creature (no, I agree, it's not a human) and a pair of shoes.....well what more can I say. I guess I can only hope you never own an animal.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    June 24, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes, gerbils - are not human. Some are under valued, some are over-valued, but none are as valuable as human life, limb and health. Maybe it was excessive - we may find out - but please do not terminate somebody for protecting themselves. Consider the big picture here - I am sure the officer had the right to protect health and well being.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    June 24, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    The fact is that we don't have all of the facts. The dog's owner deserves a full accounting of what took place. The police department should make a full investigation. Then the facts should be used to determine what if any action needs to be taken with regards to the officer. It is also a good time for the department to review its training procedures to minimize the use of deadly force while protecting officers.

    Yes, people are more important than pets. However, I can't believe the lack of sensitivity of some of the comments, especially from the dog haters. Thank goodness they are not police or dog shootings would be more common.

  • Navigator13 Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 24, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    What should we infer by "...the dog began to act aggressively"? Over the past 31 years, Weimaraners have accounted for 1 fatality in the United States, the same number as Collies (AKA Lassie). In contrast, Pit Bulls accounted for 13 deaths in the first half of 2013. Weimaraners are considered very safe dogs. Even from a conservative's perspective, this sounds like a trigger-happy officer who had no business being in that yard. Truly a tragedy for the owner.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    June 24, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    "I want to educate law enforcement so this doesn't happen again."

    Or you could have trained your dog not to be so aggressive. Just sayin'.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    June 24, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Having served a mission in the South where everyone and their dog (pun intended) has dogs, and sometimes several of them, I don't buy this officer's justification. While carrying out my mission I was approached and/or chased by dogs on dozens, if not hundreds of occasions, sometimes by as many as 10-15 dogs at once. I never once was bitten and never once would have needed to shoot one even if I had a gun. I think about the worst thing I had to do to a dog to avoid being bitten was a well-placed kick to the ribs. Oh, and this was including many dogs like pit bulls, rottweilers, and dobermans.

    We learned real quick that the best practice when entering an unknown yard is to rattle the gate, bang on the mailbox, or make some other noise to alert any loose dogs to our presence and get them to reveal themselves to avoid any surprises to either us or them. Seems a ten-year police officer who presumably also enters yards which might have dogs on a regular basis would know to do this...

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 24, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    So... what did the dog owner do wrong? What did the dog do wrong? He was properly secured in a gated back yard. What more precaution could the owner have taken to prevent this?

    Dogs are territorial by nature. He perceived a threat and attempted resolution.

    Unless the police officer had probable cause to assume a crime was happening in the backyard (e.g. he SAW the child back there) he could not have entered the property without 1. a search warrant, or 2 permission from the owner of someone who lived in the home. This officer could have avoided a real bad situation by simply following established law and policies.

    Yes, the dog owner absolutely should be compensated (how does one compensate a life?) The police officer broke the law and deserves to be treated as such (trespassing at the very least). He is not above the law, but rather must be a paragon of what the law is, in his very act and deed.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 24, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    The oficer went into a fenced backyard where the dog was safely and securely kept. The dog reacted as a dog would. Then the officer used deadly force where it was not warranted. Did I miss anything?

    Why would wnyone expect the dog to act differently? To me the officer should have expected that the dog would become aggressive. This was a far more predictable situation than most police enter. Is it predictable what will happen when you enter a home to serve a search warrant?

    Training and respect for private rights is warranted for these officers. Bulling in like a speeding train an leaving a wake of destruction is not necessary.

    Was it likely that the child could have opened the gate in the first place? If there was a latch at the top it is doubtful a child could have entered the back yard in the first place...

  • ExecutorIoh West Jordan, UT
    June 24, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    I think the situation is unfortunate and don't see why the officer was in the backyard in the first place and to shoot the dog that was acting in defense of his owner and property is not okay.

    That being said, the dog is not a family member. You have no biologic relation to the animal and although he may be a good friend, it is not the same a the shooting involving another human.

    Sad, and I think there should be restitution, but leave the dog as the family pet.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 24, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    In sure some officers were checking the home while other officers were searching the neighborhood. The dog would be unfriendly to an unwelcomed guest in the yard, but the officer was doing his duty being there. Maybe dogs should be inside homes while all humans are away? The pet owner is grieving but being ridiculous. The officer had every right to defend themselves. The pet owner did not do anything wrong either. It is just one of those things. He didn't enter the yard with the intent to shoot anything moving. He was looking for a child who was reported missing. He came upon a rightfully unfriendly dog. Dogs do protect their turf. The child could enter a fenced yard not only by gate but a loose section of the fence or a area of ground under a fence that is open. Pets attract kids. It's not about the mechanics of a gate latch.

  • rocklaw Holladay, UT
    June 24, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Unfortunate collateral damage. This kid was found safe so the dead dog seems like a big deal. The police have every right to do a thorough search. Whether the officer acted reasonably is a factual inquiry. But don't pretend that the well-being of the dog compares in any way to the well-being of the child. It doesn't, and the kid should get over it and forgive the officer.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 24, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    We learn this dog at 110 lbs. is 30 to 40 pounds overweight. From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog breed. Weimaraners are high-energy and often wear out their owners, requiring appropriate training to learn how to calm them and to help them learn to control their behavior.
    Many have behavioral issues as a result of isolation and inadequate exercise.
    The Weimaraner is a hunting dog and therefore has a strong, instinctive prey drive.
    Will chase and frequently kill almost any small animal that enters their garden or backyard. In rural areas, most Weimaraners will not hesitate to chase deer or sheep.
    This breed of dog tends to be very stubborn.
    Being alone can create very severe separation anxiety in the breed. Weimaraners with severe separation anxiety can destroy property or injure themselves in trying to escape. A Weimaraner with separation anxiety is likely to bark, whine, howl, and even dig until its owner returns home. Further manifestations of this problem can include panicking.
    Maybe we should look to the owner for his cruelty to this animal and the cause of an aggressive behavior.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    June 24, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    I like cops and I hate dogs...so what's the problem. If dog owners would keep their animals under control everything would be better.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 24, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    Kendall, who wasn't home at the time of the shooting. There goes that defense of checking before entering the yard.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    June 24, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    I know first hand that officers use pepper spray to protect themselves from dogs when they are aggressive. In fact, they use the pepper spray quite often. So, why did this officer not use the pepper spray? anybody, human or dog, reacts almost instantaneously to pepper spray.

    I understand a child was apparently missing and they needed to look everywhere. The law allow them under reasonable doubt to enter private premises. But that doesn't mean the officer has to leave his/her common sense at the doorstep.

    If that was my dog, I would've been very very upset about it! This was a weimaraner, very known to be friendly. The police department needs to train its officers on how to deal with dogs and what to do to avoid being attacked without killing the dog with a shot in the head.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 24, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    I love all you back seat drivers. Bottom line, none of you were there and none of you know what happened, except for the dog got shot. Get off of the cops back until we have more information.

    Most of you are acting like he planned this. Next time your three year old goes missing, find the kid yourselves. Don't call the cops. That way no dogs will get shot.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 24, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    I love how some posters are critical because the officer did not search the house first.

    In these situations officers quickly arrive and are assigned to search areas. In the case of a three year old, time is of the essence. They don't have time to ask the other officers did you do this or did you do that. As far as the argument a three year old would not latch the gate, have you examined the gate. A gate could be left unlatched when not closed, entering a child could force the gate closed enough to latch the gate. Most commenters posting make assumptions not made in the story, but because it was an officer, a dog was shot, therefore officer must be crucified. I had a neighbor with a golden lab, the dog chased a ball across the street, I standing in my driveway was attacked by the dog. The homeowner said he had never been aggressive he was the mildest dog. I said no he chased a child across his yard before. Being in the business of risk assessment for an insurance company the dog was put down three days later.

  • Double K SLC, UT
    June 24, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    The officer killed a dog, not a person. To expect the officer to be fired is totally out of line. A pet can certainly be a friend but it is not a person and the owner should neither expect the officer to be fired nor to think that legislation should be passed to make a pet 'a member of the family'. A pet is an animal, not a person. Get over it.

  • GR SANTA CLARITA, CA
    June 24, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    I am no dog lover, but shooting this dog in its own yard was plain wrong.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    A bit of 'forgiveness' may help the young man, a bit of 'humility" on the part of the police might cool the hostility posted here. Had to put down several dogs because of disease and heart failure and you don't get over the loss of a treasured pets, but even more especially in a
    tragic lost as this is.
    This isn't the first dog killed by the police and probably won't be the last, but teaching
    them how to deal with dogs that are being protective of property or person should be required.
    Some people are terrified of dogs of any size and breed. I have faced off hostile dogs because I don't have a fear of them, but dogs do sense fear and may act very differently with someone like that than someone who does not.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    June 24, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Some people aren't dog people. Meaning, I can get along with most any mean dogs. It's the way you handle them. Cops should have this ability. If not, new career choice.

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    June 24, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    @ WaltNicholes - Amen! Pets are great, but they are not humans. Making them a "member of the family" in the eyes of the law is WAY too far. I feel bad for this kid, but none of us were there. The only person there was the officer. What actually happened? We will probably never know. But this officer shouldn't lose his job over it.
    @patriot - fining the department is not the right option. Tax payer dollars pay for the police and money taken from the police department is taking that protection away from the community.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    @HaHa...Yes I firmly agree let's take your advice and "all grow up here". How about we begin with intellectual and eloquent postings which offer compassion rather then the archaic caveman approach?

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    I can't and won't say whether the officer was correct in his actions because of the reason I stated before (we all lack sufficient information). However for all those eager to fire him because there are plenty of people who could replace him I would propose that you take time to try a "Shoot/Don't Shoot" simulator. Having watched civilians fail at an overwhelming rate I would venture to say you might be a little more sympathetic to any officer in his duties. A ten year veteran has great skills for the most part and replacing him is not as simple as asking the next guy at the door to pickup a gun and a badge. Police administrations want people who make poor decisions a lot less than the public does. People suggesting that cops have an arrogant "shoot anything they want" attitude or that they lack training simply are ignorant of the vast majority of police officers in Salt Lake City.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 24, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    firing the officer wont bring his dog back. The police dept should be fined and compensation given to the dog owner for sure.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    June 24, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    No, I don't think a three year old can open a gate. But I think a 20 year old can grab a three year old and open a gate.

    I know animal lovers love their pets like family, but they are NOT family. Still give the years of love and training and so forth, there should be a civil penalty, unless the officer, in reasonable hearings, can establish that other alternatives were simply not workable under the circumstances.

    I am in favor of increased training, possibly a formal reprimand, a civil restitution, but I am NOT in favor of a change to state law giving a pet the same rights as a human. And I don't think an officer should lose his job over this kind of thing unless there is a pattern of offense.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 24, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    @ Wonder

    Oh boo hoo. I didn't exactly say someone shouldn't have an emotional attachment, I said they shouldn't have that kind of emotional attachment. I think there are many in our society, whether they realize it or not, who place animal life at on the same level of human life, and I have a very serious problem with that.
    I had an emotional attachment to my high school football shoes, but I didn't cry about it, or threaten my Mom with a lawsuit when she threw them away 30 years ago. Lets all grow up here!

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    ALL police officers should have to complete a four year college degree in either criminal justice, political science or psychology PRIOR to completion of the police academy. A bachelors degree is required to manage a bank but not for becoming a police officer? Something is very wrong with this.

  • Michael L Mulcady Prattville, AL
    June 24, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    So, if he got his wish, would he become a happy person? And is he willing to live by the same standards for himself?

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    June 24, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    @ Pete1215:

    You claim the officer "did not have the option to just walk away."
    How do you know that? It said no such thing in the article. It said the office thought the dog was acting aggressively, but he never claimed to be attacked by the animal. And if the officer was not attacked, he certainly could've walked away. That leaves no valid excuse for killing the dog.

    Almost every dog acts at least somewhat aggressively when a stranger walks into their yard. In fact, most owners prefer that. It gives them added protection against intruders. Some people have dogs explicitly for that very reason.

    It would seem the officer was somewhat surprised and then over-reacted. I'd hate to think what he might've done if it was a person who had surprised him. As a minimum, and if not actually fired, this officer needs to at least be put on administrative desk duty with no access to a firearm. Such people who have a tendency to over-react can be very dangerous with deadly force available.

    I completely agree with the dog owner. I would do the same thing in his situation.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    @Hahahah -- You know, you sound like a sociopath. I'm sure you're not one, but to say that it's pathetic to have an emotional attachment to an animal is bizarre.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 24, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Almost zero sympathy for the dog owner, find it pathetic when adults have that kind of emotional attachment to animals. That being said, the dog was his private property, and he sounded like a responsible owner, maintaining the dog in back yard. If police entered his property uninvited, that is a little high handed. Don't know all the circumstances, for certain, but I think city my need to replace his property (dog) at the very least.

  • Pianoman Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    The 4th amendment protects citizens from warrantless searches of their property and possession. The only time a warrant is not needed is when there is a reasonable cause to search the property. This is where the questions come in: did the officer search other properties? Was the home remotely close to the toddler's? Did the homeowner have posted that there was a dog on the premises so the officer was aware there was a dog?

    The officer needs to be fired from the force as I feel that he serves as a threat to the community with his reckless acts that constitute "excessive force". The next time he could kill a human that he feels as a "threat". If the force is not willing to fire him then I am willing to file a petition to see him removed.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    June 24, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    This is an outrage and an abuse of power. Police must be taught they can't do things like this with impunity. I'd be suing as well.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    I don't know about whether he should be fired, but unless there are some facts I'm unaware of, he definitely should be severely reprimanded at the least. You don't go uninvited onto other people's property and shoot their dog. In addition, as someone else mentioned, it sounds like the police need some training on how to deal with animals in a way other than reflexively shooting them. Better training and a reprimand at the least. I can't imagine how some of you are saying "It's just a dog." Apparently you've never owned a pet. I hope!

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    There was absolutely no justification for this officer to have trespassed into a fenced, private yard, and even less justification for shooting that dog!

    Termination of employment should definitely be considered, but at least some serious discipline, and he should be put on administrative leave (behind a desk) until the formal investigation is completed.

    But the dog owner (the victim of police brutality) met not let this drop. Fight for justice!

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 24, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    When will people learn that police, with the exception of egregious circumstances, will never be held accountable in the same way private persons are in the use of firearms.

    All an officer need say, is 'he/she feared for their own safety or the safety of others'. That's it. The local DA marks the case closed.

    On rare occasions a department may be found to violate 'civil rights', but that takes years, and years of abuses before any 'justice' is meted out, and then only in the meagerest of amounts.

    Of course when there is some political movement to institute some sort of oversight with sufficient teeth to make changes, the police associations begin to wave the banner of civilization's doom, and scare the voters into accepting ineffective oversight processes.

  • pcdivers80 highland, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    He shot the dog because he had a gun.....

    Ask the tens of thousands of return missionaries who were confronted by dogs often - you can almost always back away without killing the dog.

  • Bag Man POWDER SPRINGS, GA
    June 24, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    The definition of trespassing is: An unlawful intrusion that interferes with one's person or property.

    At a minimum this officer was trespassing. He also broke other laws like animal cruelty. NO officer has the right to search any private property without the property owners consent or a search warrant.

    To say otherwise is not correct. The proper thing to do is to knock at the door and get permission to look in the back yard. Without this permission any search of the property is illegal. No matter how good the intentions are his search put the officer on the opposite side of the law, and there should be a punishment. IF he walked into the back yard and destroyed his outside furniture or whatever else is there most people would agree he was breaking the law.

    At a minimum this officer trespassed on private property and destroyed personal property. Both of which are illegal.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    No.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 24, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Glenn L said, "10,000 people can be wrong. The investigation by competent people and their judgment should be honored, and the rest of us should depend on them and trust them."

    This is so eerily reminiscent of the "good Germans" who didn't ask questions when their neighbors disappeared during WWII. They wanted to believe that persons in authority had their (the people's) best interests at heart.

    Authoritarian organizations do not ever become responsive when people ask only polite questions and do not pursue it when the answer is "Because".

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    June 24, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    Large dogs with high destructive capacity which become aggressive during a police search are going to get shot. That's how it is. Whether people ought to be keeping such dogs at all is a whole other question which insurance companies are now beginning to address.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    To noahread...yeah and police officers should be trained to handle guns too!He wasn't right,he just thinks he's a sanctioned bad boy who can blow away whatever he doesn't like!The cop showed no brain power or restraint,you want people like that running into your yard with guns?

  • Deserthiker SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    There are so many options to deal with a barking territorial dog that can be employed before shooting the dog. The officer tried none of them. Did he back up and exit the yard then call animal control to restrain the dog- no. Did he employ non lethal means (ie pepper spray) - no. There is no claim that the animal charged or attempted to bite the officer. Anyone with a little common sense and understanding of how dogs behave could have almost certainly defused this situation without killing the dog. The officer in this case made no attempt to do so by his own report. He just shot the dog. We deserve and need better police competence. Too often and in too many cases, the first go to option when confronted with any problem these days is for police to pull the gun and fire away. I get that the job is tough and often dangerous, but this was no life threatening situation. If SLPD wants to rebuild community trust and credibility they need to own up to their mistakes, apologize, and work to better train their hard-working officers. They should be better than this.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 24, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Too many police officers have this streak of arrogance. I have encountered it myself, and it is offensive and dangerous. The authorities must do more to restrain their agents.

  • Unicorn 2000 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    The officer had no right to shoot this dog in the dog's own yard. It also should not be so easy for officers to just shoot a dog because they feel a dog is being "aggressive." Dog's can be aggressive when they feel that someone is threatening their "pack" and that is a natural instinct. Threatening does not equate to attacked. How did the officer have any right to trespass on the property in the first place? Particularly without probable cause to suggest the missing child was in the yard.

  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    June 24, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    "10,000 people can be wrong. The investigation by competent people and their judgment should be honored, and the rest of us should depend on them and trust them."

    How naive.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Censored again. I'll repeat, with slightly more civility, as DN hardly deserves it any more than SLPD.
    1) The mother failed to search her house thoroughly.
    2) The police failed to search her house thoroughly.
    3) The police searched neighbors' yards without searching the child's house.
    4) Police shot the dog before searching the child's house.
    5) The police chief condones such behavior.
    6) The mayor condones a police chief who condones such behavior.
    7) DN condones a mayor who condones a police chief who condones such behavior.
    8) The dog owner is certainly entitled to compensation.
    9) We live in the dark ages of law enforcement.
    10) We live in the dark ages of journalism.
    --AGF

  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    June 24, 2014 9:09 a.m.

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

    As the 'investigation' has not yet been released to the public, you're assuming the officer performed a "service".

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    June 24, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Question 1: Why wasn't the home the FIRST place the police looked?
    Question 2: Why did the officer believe he needed to be in the neighbor's fenced in back yard at all?
    Question 3: Did he knock on the neighbor's door to get permission to search his back yard and if not, why not?
    Question 4: If he saw a big, aggressive seeming dog, why didn't he just step back out of the yard and close the gate? I was a meter reader for a few years in college and encountered several large, aggressive dogs. Never been in a back yard with one that I didn't feel like I couldn't simply retreat from.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 24, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    @neece, someone who used "very poor judgment" should be fired. Letting him remain a police officer endangers us all. And if newspaper stories frequently leave out pertinent information, that's either because the reporter is trying to make a point (not ethical) or, ahem, because the police didn't release all of the relevant information...perhaps because it might make them look bad.

    Waxing eloquently about how being fired would put his family in financial ruin, etc, etc. is nonsense. Being fired does not make you a quadriplegic, unable to ever work again. People are fired every day for "errors in judgment" which are far less serious than this.

    There are plenty of good candidates for the position of police officer. We all deserve better.

  • KIC- Keep It Constitutional Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Some of the comments here I find disturbing. Explanation 1: it was misuse of deadly force, in that case the officer should be fired. Explanation 2 it is an unfortunate circumstance and officer did what was needed, in that case the officer shouldn't be fired.

    Either way the department needs to accept that an officer took the life of a family pet and they need to be made whole. If I had a car failure and drove through your back yard running over your pet, I would be responsible to make you whole. The real question may be what is the value of a life of a "pet", to the owner of the pet it may be non-monetarily possible (I'm sure a million dollars will help) and to some the price may be a trip to the pet store or animal shelter.

    Bigger story here is police conduct. The property owner has rights which from reading the article were never surrendered. Question if a three year comes missing, do all rights get abandoned. If so what other rights can be abandoned and for what reason. I believe in "The Child First and Always". But I find this interesting.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Neece,
    Perhaps the officer and his boss should admit the mistake and apologize...and provide some compensation to the dog's owner. Shooting the dog was unprofessional and very poor judgment. Defending the officer's actions is arrogant and unfeeling. A heartfelt apology for poor judgment could go a long way toward recovering dignity and respect for this officer and the police administrators.

  • neece Logan, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Seriously people? I love my animals and would be very upset if this happened. However it is a dog! Yes the officer used very poor judgement. Yes he should compensate the owner, Yes he should be disciplined but fired? Isn't that a little overkill? You are willing to take every other good that officer does for you, put his life on the line for you and you will take that all away for an error in judgement? You are willing to put his family in financial ruin over a dog? So lets look at all you people's background and tell me there has never been a really bad decision you have made in your lives? should it cost you everything? No! of course not!! I am truly sorry for the dog's owner. But I want you to remember who is going in your backyard after that burglar, or who will protect your house if it is being robbed, your child if he/she goes missing.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Southern Baptist, tell us about the last time you heard of any dog, much less a weimeraner, killing a grown man. That's just silly. The officer's life was not in danger. In the worst case scenario, he would have been bitten...more likely he would have engaged the dog in a friendly game of "fetch." Shooting the dog was an "over the top" response. What if the man had been a civilian neighbor, legally carrying a gun, and had shot the dog while helping search for the child. He would have no badge to protect him and would be in some justifiable trouble.

    To quote a friend of mine, "The dog should not have been shot...PERIOD!!!)

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    I agree with the owner. The cop should be fired. Someone should also suffer monetary damages be it the cop or the city or both.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    June 24, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    I came home from work and found my German Shepard which barked a lot lying on my front porch and as he saw me, his tail began to wag. He was thrilled to see me and looked like he was saying, "thank goodness, you are here." Then I noticed blood right behind his front left leg. Someone had shot him. Not even the police could do anything and he died.

    After reading the different comments, and since I didn't have anyone to blame and no one to go after, I got over it a lot quicker than the family who lost their dog. I don't carry a grudge but feel sorry for the individual who did it since I am sure it has remained with him or her all these years. I am sure the officer feels bad and there would be no good come out of harming him and his family now and then having to live with it.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 24, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Utah Dem makes an excellent point. It's possible that the three year old could have wandered into that yard, and even unlatched the gate. But to have closed and relatched it--no, no kid out wandering is going to do that.

  • Glenn L Nauvoo, IL
    June 24, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    10,000 people can be wrong. The investigation by competent people and their judgment should be honored, and the rest of us should depend on them and trust them.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 24, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    And what happens when you kill a police dog?

    You can justify this all you want, but this clown was out of line and made a very poor decision. Justify idiocy and you sound...dumb.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    There is not enough facts about what actually happened here for any of us to judge. Newspaper reports are notoriously bad for not including important information because of a lack of space. It's tragic the owner lost his dog. On the other hand the news often doesn't even report injuries that officers suffer from pets, hazardous conditions and other causes they encounter that are the property owners responsibility. Rather than us trying this in the comments section I suggest the home owner who has legal representation continue his legal options. It is a system that works for the most part in this country.

  • noahread Wyoming, MI
    June 24, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    I’m not sure whether the officer should be fired or not. That said, a SLC police officer pulled a gun on our dog, a 15 lb miniature schnauzer, in our yard within a foot or two of my father. I definitely thing something should be done to properly train police officers on how to handle pets.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    June 24, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure we can't expect a dog to know the difference between a police officer and any other stranger. This is a sickening abuse of power.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 24, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    Not only should this officer be fired, he should never be permitted to be a police officer again. He's dangerous.

  • adpoole2014 Nampa, ID
    June 24, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    Let's think about this one-dogs are territorial animals. If a stranger enters the property, the dog will act to protect his territory! The officer should have backed off-but police officers nowadays think they have the right to pull their gun and shoot anything or anyone that acts aggressive. CS Mace, which police carry, and tasers are effective non-lethal control methods. The owner of the dog has every right to ask what he has.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 24, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    Fire the cop but first take away his gun!

  • Fyrangel Marion, IA
    June 24, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    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.

  • wa1den Sandy, UT
    June 24, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    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.

  • SouthernBaptist Jackson, TN
    June 24, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    Cop was RIGHT!

    a 110 lb dog can kill very quickly.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 24, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    @ Troy06

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

    Just how do you know that?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 24, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    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.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    June 24, 2014 6:00 a.m.

    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.

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:16 a.m.

    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.

  • concretebo Sandy, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:11 a.m.

    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.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 24, 2014 4:57 a.m.

    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.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    June 24, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    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.

  • truth_avenger Lehi, UT
    June 23, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    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.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    June 23, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    June 23, 2014 11:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    June 23, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    June 23, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    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.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    June 23, 2014 10:34 p.m.

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

  • TracyComment Idaho Falls, ID
    June 23, 2014 10:23 p.m.

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

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    June 23, 2014 10:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Twardy Folsom, CA
    June 23, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    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.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    June 23, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    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