Neighbors are disputing police accounts of the events that led to the fatal shooting of an Idaho family’s dog while their young son stood nearby.
Boise police said officers were investigating a theft report Sunday afternoon when the 5-year-old dog charged them and the officers felt forced to defend themselves.
But a neighbor said the dog only barked softly at the officer as he walked past.
“She was walking by and went ‘ruff ruff’ just a couple of little ruffs and that’s when she was walking by she didn’t jump at him or anything,” neighbor Bryan Adams told KTVB-TV.
Other witnesses said the mixed-breed dog, Kita, barked and snarled at the officers as they approached.
The dog’s owner, Gabrielle Stropkai, said she’d let the animal outside to relieve itself and that the dog never left her sight.
“In about five seconds he pulled his weapon, asked whose dog it was, and shot her in the back of the head,” said Stropkai.
She said her 2-year-old son witnessed the shooting.
A police spokesman said the officers were standing in a parking lot when the officer decided to fire his weapon because the dog came within 3 feet of them.
Stropkai and her mother, who also witnessed the shooting, said the dog would not have attacked, but police disagreed.
“The dog came upon the officers quickly and they felt it was about to bite them,” said Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter in a statement. “This is a very dog friendly community. Many officers have dogs. We work with dogs. Dogs running loose are a safety risk, for people and for the dogs. This was a very unfortunate situation for everyone involved.”
Stropkai and her mother said the officer acted too quickly, and now they’re worried about the survival of Kita’s six two-week-old puppies.
Boise has a leash ordinance that requires owners to keep their pets on a leash except in designated areas.
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