Investigation underway into why officer shot dog in its own yard

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  • rickdoctor Chandler, AZ
    June 24, 2014 7:25 p.m.

    Many police officers, not just in Utah, seem to lack common sense -- isn't there any screening in the hiring and training process? There is too much tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. Why was this officer looking in a location where no 3-year-old child could be? Couldn't he figure out any other method of dealing with a dog, acting like a normal dog, than shooting it? Animal Control knows how to handle dogs. So do the owners, usually.
    Perhaps the officer thought that this dog had masterminded a kidnapping of the little child, and had the child imprisoned in its kennel back there, and was now going to protect the kidnapped child which the dog was holding for ransom, since the ransom would be lost if the child were taken by the officer, which clearly the dog knew was an officer-of-the-law.
    If that sounds bizarre, then perhaps the dog's owner thinks the same of the officer's current story of how he came to shoot that dog!!!
    The stories sound about the same to me!

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    A four year college degree in criminal justice or psychology PRIOR to being sent out on patrol should be mandatory! What point is enough concerning the many rouge police officers that seem to be plentiful here in Utah? You need a four year college degree to manage a bank but one is not needed to become a police officer?

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 20, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Don't give guns to people who don't know how to use them!

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    Not a dog lover or even a fan of dogs, but I am absolutely horrified by this situation.
    This could have been handled so much better than it was.
    I agree with other posts on here....bring the pepper spray or even mace. The dog was only doing what he was supposed to do!
    What a tragedy for this poor homeowner.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    This may indicate an attitude problem on the part of SLPD, and other departments. What we, as citizens, need to understand about police is that they are mostly a cloistered society with relatively little unstructured interaction with the rest of the unwashed masses.

    Their society sees the world as a "them versus us". So it appears natural for a LEO to want to establish the dominant position or high ground in any and all situations. IMO the officer felt challenged by the dog, not in danger as much as challenged, and he killed the animal who challenged him.

    Do LEO's do good? Of course. Are they heroes in many situations? Without a doubt. This is a case where one "Aw shucks" wiped out a lot of "Atta boys".

    Bad press lingers longer in the public's mind.

  • snickerdoodle Idaho Falls, ID
    June 20, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    While I feel for this dog owner and appreciate the fact his dog was in a fenced yard, I'm definitely no fan of dogs. I've been bit before and had two close calls with unrestrained, extremely aggressive dogs when I was out walking. Although the owner in the article was following the law, it infuriates me the number of dog owners in the places I've lived that have NOT obeyed city leash laws. We have several dogs in our neighborhood that are allowed to roam freely with no owner in sight and they regularly poop all over our lawn. Another is aggressive to the point my kids are afraid to play in our yard. Dogs are required to be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard. Kudos to this dog owner for actually following the law and condolences for his loss.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    June 20, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    No one has mentioned it yet, and some will not like me saying it either but, despite that, here we have a "veteran" police officer with a hand gun and having been trained in its use and he obviously uses it inappropriately on a dog.
    Now consider the fact that there are thousands of Utah citizens with much less training who have purchased guns and concealed weapon permits and are likely, no doubt, to act even more inappropriately when confronted with similar situations.
    Yet here we also have politicians elected who will defend vociferously "the right" to own and bear firearms without passing even reasonable gun laws!
    Go figure.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:40 a.m.


    Agree totally.

    Maybe hire even more storm troopers/dog killers...

    to keep our backyards safe.


  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    I read all of the responses and talk about cruelty. My dog got killed when he wandered into the street. The driver should have seen him. He should have lost his license. What you say? Is this any different? Lay off the officer, he has responsibilities and family to support. Let the police handle it.

  • OldHairGuy Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    I once had a SLC police officer pull a gun on our 18 pound Miniature Schnauzer in our front yard, just as the neighborhood kids were passing by on their way to school. He had a better chance of shooting his own foot, myself or one of the kids than the dog. The police DO need better training on how to handle encounters with dogs. Their first reaction should not be to reach for their weapon.

  • fangflyer LAKE WALES, FL
    June 20, 2014 5:43 a.m.

    What is wrong with this officer that he lacks common sense, and what is wrong with his supervisors that they tolerate this behavior. Suppose the homeowner had rushed out and challenged the officer, would he have used deadly force on him?

  • ed in atl Duluth, GA
    June 20, 2014 5:39 a.m.

    That's a total coward move! Fire the officer. He has no common decency sense to shoot the dog.

  • I_Know_Utah Mesquite, NV
    June 19, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    I say Fire that Officer, That in my eyes is Animal Cruelty, and Failure to stay at the scene of an Incident...

    June 19, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    Is it legal in Utah for the police to enter your property without permission or a warrant? I understand the urgency to find the child, but is it legal to do that? Just wondering.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    Good thing the child was not in the yard or he could have been shot too.

    Fire the officer, settle with the family, train the rest of the force to respect the citizens.

  • Euroskeptic Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    This is yet one more demonstration of the inevitable result of the culture of impunity that exists among law enforcement in Utah. No need for common sense or human(e) decency when you're hiding behind a firearm.

    It's beginning to seem like the following summary is the extent of training Utah LEOs receive: if anything startles you, gets in your way or just annoys you - just point and shoot - problem solved!

  • Left Field Longmont, Colorado
    June 19, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    Decent chance this ends up as a lawsuit. It wouldn't be frivolous, but it wouldn't bring the dog back, either.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:15 p.m.

    The officer shot the dog because he thought he could get away with it.

    What else would drive the officer to use deadly force against an animal protecting its territory?

    Where did he get the idea that deadly force is the go to plan when confronted by a dog?

    This officer needs to find other employment.

  • Austindoug Austin, TX
    June 19, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    I've been a police officer. There is absolutely NO excuse for this. As mentioned by others there are several non-lethal methods for handling this type of situation. Police now days are much too quick to use deadly force with people and animals.

  • Cjp Salt lake, UT
    June 19, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    Whatever happened to knocking on the homeowners door and asking PERMISSION to enter the yard? I think this officer is a lose cannon and should have his badge taken.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 19, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    better hope some police officer does come barging into your back yard for whatever reason because your dog is dead if he does. The police dept owes this guy TOP DOLLAR for a new dog as well as money for retribution but even after that the guys dog and probably best friend is DEAD for doing what dogs are supposed to do - PROTECT THE FAMILY.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 19, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    this makes me sick. Sue the police!!! I would be meeting with lawyers and filing suits if I were the pet owner. There is such a thing as MACE and every officer should carry a can in cases just like this.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    June 19, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    "I feared--".
    Doesn't matter how he got into that position.
    Investigation case closed.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 19, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Its the officer who was the intruder. He should have done everything humanly possible to avoid what happened. Slowly back out. Fire a warning shot to scare the dog away. Were any of these tried? If not the officer doesn't seem to get it.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    June 19, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    That breed of dog, is not mean.

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 19, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    Reminds me of about 14 years ago when I was moving to Utah. I was at a home in Lehi and my dog got free from his leash and ran up the block. I went to find him calling his name. A Lehi police officer stopped and got out of his car. The dog was responding to the calls and was running back to me but past the police officer. The Officer pulled out his gun and was about to shoot when I yield at the officer who stopped momentarily. I grabbed the dog and put on his leash again went over to the police officer who explained that he thought the dog was going to attack. While he explained the dog started licking his hand to make friends.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    June 19, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    Feel bad for both parties in this one. The police officer obviously didn't enter thinking he wanted to shoot a dog, but rather to look for the lost child, and I've no doubt he felt threatened. At the same time, as a lifelong dog owner, I understand exactly how much such a "family member" means to one. Sounds like the SLPD owes the gentleman a dog, though the new one will never quite be the same as the old.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, UT
    June 19, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    Perhaps SLC PD can invest in some pepper spray for their officers. It works well and is effective against dogs. A lot of mailmen, delivery men, people who deliver newspapers and utility workers who often need to enter private yards and gated properties carry it in performing their duties.

  • Deserthiker SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 19, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    So this officer can think of no better plan than to enter the yard, then, when the dog responds predictably, kill the dog? What about calling animal control to restrain the dog while the yard is searched? They can respond quickly, officer could continue to search nearby areas while waiting. Someone with a smidgeon of common sense could have figured out a way to search the yard without killing the dog. Apparently this officer's skills are limited to just shooting at anything that gets in his/her way. We deserve better.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    June 19, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    I saw the news last night, and that child would NEVER have been able to get into that back yard.

    If you can't get into something, mark it for searching later. Killing a dog because YOU entered its territory? Fire this trigger-happy cop.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 19, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    Respect works both ways. If he is afraid of dogs he shouldn't of gone in with the dog. a little logic, a 3 year old, open and close a gate. I don't think so. The man deserves a dog of his choice.