An Idaho disabled man vowed this week to sue a local police station after an officer shot and killed his service dog.
Rick Clubb told the Twin Falls Times-News that his son’s 9th birthday party was nearly finished at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when Filer Police Officer Tarek Hassani showed up at his home over a complaint about dogs running loose in the neighborhood.
According to Clubb, the 7-year-old black Labrador named “Hooch” was not showing any aggressive behavior when Hassani pulled out his pistol and shot the animal. Clubb suffers from Parkinson’s disease and described Hooch as a “trained service animal.”
“He didn’t have to pull out his .45 and shoot my dog,” Clubb pointed out. “It was right outside my son’s bedroom. What if it had ricocheted through the window?”
Disturbing dash cam video shows Hassani approaching the dog as it barks at him. He kicks at the dog, and the animal backs up. As Hassani advances into the yard, the dog continues to bark. Hassani fires and single shot, the dog yelps and falls onto the snow.
Filer Police Chief Tim Reeves told KMTV that Hassani did a “good job, and he was totally justified in putting the dog down.”
“Finally when he kept trying to come up to the house to talk to the owner, to get the owner to take control of the dogs he ended up having to shoot the dog for his own safety. We never want to have to shoot a dog but sometimes it happens.” Reeves said.
But Clubb thinks that the officer used force too quickly.
“I just think there was other ways to handle it besides shooting my dog and firing a gun right in my front yard when we were having a birthday party and there were kids around,” Clubb remarked. “I’m going to sue them, I’m going to sue the City of Filer and the police chief and officer. Maybe I deserve a ticket, but I don’t deserve a dead dog.”
A dispatcher for the Filer Police Department told Raw Story that Chief Tim Reeves had authorized her to say that the case was still under investigation. She could not say if the officer’s actions were under review.
Watch this video from KMTV, broadcast Feb. 11, 2014.
[Photo: One of Rick Clubb's surviving service dogs via KMTV]