Las Vegas Police Kill Family Pet in Fenced Yard

Bubba the 120 pound family dog was in his backyard, which is secured with a 6 foot fence with a “Beware of Dog” sign fastened to it, when a Las Vegas police officer shot him to death on Sunday.  Police were reportedly “investigating a report of gunshots or fireworks” in the area when they opened the gate to Bubba’s yard and entered the private property.  Bubba’s family was home but owner Victor Patino says that police never knocked on their door to request the dog be secured.

The identity of the officer who fatally shot the pit bull also was not released.

But Lt. Les Lane appears to have already cleared the officer of any wrongdoing:

“The dog was aggressive and coming toward the officer,” Lane said.

The article contains no word on any further investigation of the killing.  Mr. Patino considered Bubba a family member.

(Thank Karen for the link.)

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23 Comments

  1. Barb Bristol

     /  January 7, 2013

    Where do you even start? For one minor thing, a 120 lb dog is NOT a “pit bull” – sounds like the report was trying to skew sympathy to the officer.

    You have to keep your yard gates locked, with a padlock. Oddly enough, if a yard gate is locked then that seems to change the legal access for law enforcement.

    Reply
    • We have gates on the fence in our yard but they are not the type that could be secured with a padlock. I hope no one would blame me if someone trespassed on my property and killed my dog because I didn’t have a padlock on the gate.

      Reply
  2. I am beginning to think that cops with guns are more dangerous than civilians with guns are.

    Reply
  3. also, my yard has 3 dogs in it, that can come and go from within the house via a doggie door. There are two signs…”Beware of Dog” and “No trespassing” on each of the 4 gates, which are each secured with a cable and a padlock. I had better not EVER to see any of my dogs are killed in any way. That would have been no accident, whatsoever.

    Reply
  4. Since when is it legal for police to enter someone’s private property without a warrant? Just because they might have heard gunshots or fireworks in the area? Obviously, they did not see a crime in progress which I would think would be the only way they could enter private property without the owner’s consent.
    I hope this family sues.

    Reply
  5. KarenJ

     /  January 7, 2013

    I hope this family sues as well. A civil suit for loss of a family member – which of course in Vegas as personal property – and perhaps a State or Federal suit for trespassing. It seems in many states that officers of the court are allowed to enter any property they want to – to pursue a possible crime – UNLESS the property is LOCKED. It’s this way in Tennessee. Officers cannot go onto personal property without probable cause – and you read the sentence that stated they were investigating the sounds of gun shots or fireworks…that I’m sure they are stating is their out on the trespassing. If the dog was acting aggressive why didn’t the officer just leave the fenced in yard? Why was THIS yard the one the officers HAD to trespass on for this call? So many questions that most likely won’t even get addressed by the police department.

    Reply
  6. KarenJ

     /  January 7, 2013

    Well folks – I’ve emailed the journalist, the publisher, the editors etc of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in regard to the ludicracy of the killing of Bubba. I’m sure I will receive no response as I receive no responses on 99% of the emails I send on situations like this. BUT- I still feel we have to respond and question. It’s our duty.

    Reply
  7. I have no trespassing signs lining my fence and property with my phone number on them. If ANY of my dogs are ever killed in a similar, bizarre situation, I’ll sue, too. The police were out of line; they do not have a mandate to enter everywhere w/o permission. Good God.

    Reply
  8. db

     /  January 7, 2013

    The police (and everyone apparently covering up) are wrong on this one. This was trespassing and they had no business going into that yard. I, too, hope the family sues to the greatest degree possible.
    This has to stop!

    Reply
  9. Victoria

     /  January 7, 2013

    Police seem to be doing this on daily basis these days, entering people yards and killing their dogs “because they feel threatened”, some even tied up dogs? I love my dogs, but part of the utilitarian reason I have them to keep people out of my yard and home.

    I’m going to start looking for a padlock and figure out a way to lock up my fence, in case my dogs happen to be outside at the time. Of course, they would probably let me know before the cop came to my door. I love those little buggers.

    Reply
  10. how do we stop this….criminally stupid behavior?

    Reply
    • ezbuddy

       /  January 8, 2013

      Wait ’til you hear about what out government has recently passed, to allow them control over citizens with imputiny, and the $34 billion worth of personell containment military type hardware feds recently bought for all US city police!

      This same thing happened recently in Las Vegas, where a citizen’s dog was gunned down by police, with no consequences. Doesn’t anyone remember that? Vegas cops thinks it’s still the wild west. But they are just ‘beginning’ to get tuff. Just wait & see what our alphabet feds have up their sleve.

      Reply
  11. Joel

     /  January 7, 2013

    Shirley, if you want to report all of these incidents it would save a lot of time to just create an easy-to-fill in template. Here’s a suggestion:

    “[Insert dog name] was in his backyard, which is secured with [insert fence description], when a [insert jurisdiction] police officer shot [him/her] to death. Police were investigating a report of [insert incident] in the area when they opened the gate to [insert dog name]’s yard and entered the private property. Owner [insert owner name] says that police never knocked on their door to request the dog be secured.

    [Insert supervising officer] appears to have already cleared the officer of any wrongdoing:

    “The dog was aggressive and coming toward the officer,” [insert supervising officer] said.

    Reply
    • Ha – sadly usable. I wonder if this has ever entered a police officer’s head?: “Oh! A dog is in this fenced yard and he doesn’t look happy to see me. I bet I can easily make it back through the gate before anything bad happens if I sprint.”

      Reply
  12. Arlene

     /  January 8, 2013

    I am sick and tired of hearing dogs shot and killed by police day after day after day after day. I have written to my congressional leaders and called for the following:

    MANDATORY TRAINING FOR LOCAL POLICE TO HANDLE OUR DOMESTIC ANIMALS WITH NON-LETHAL FORCE AND BE PUNISHED FOR KILLING OUR FAMILY PETS Image
    11,730
    LETTERS SENT
    MANDATORY TRAINING FOR LOCAL POLICE TO HANDLE OUR DOMESTIC ANIMALS WITH NON-LETHAL FORCE AND BE PUNISHED FOR KILLING OUR FAMILY PETS
    We the people demand local police to serve and protect our family members rather than murder our family pets, due to their lack of knowledge and training in handling domestic animals.
    CONTACT CONGRESS LEADERBOARD WIDGET PRINT

    You can do the same thing. We need a nation wide address to this nasty problem. I have also asked for third party investigation as we all know that no department will find their officer at fault. It’s the only fair way and will cut down on the killing of our pets.

    Reply
  13. And lets not forget, a stranger coming onto property is apt to get any dog excited…barking, or whatever…even my 10 lb dogs get that way. more signs, more locks, for my property.

    Reply
  14. db

     /  January 8, 2013

    Okay, I’m going to take this to another level with no intention to minimalize the lives of the children and adults who have been killed. But it seems like we have moved into a shoot first, violent attitude. I hold the individuals responsible, of course, but I also watched the previews of new tv series and movies and the violence is overwhelming and nothing subtle at all.

    So angry, disturbed individuals shoot up schools and movie theatres and malls and police shoot dogs without even thinking. We have young parents beating their infants to death. A young mother shot and killed in her home, in front of young children. There is so much violence in our society – we need to stop it in so many places.

    To all the innocents who die because of this culture of cruelty and violence, may your deaths lead to changes that will make life kinder and gentler for those left. And let us learn from all these tragedies.

    Bubba (and all the others) should not have died. And at some point we need to find a way to stop this senseless killing.

    Reply
    • Callie Fitzgerald

       /  January 8, 2013

      I totally agree. I realize it can’t all be brought back to video games but I am expecting a baby and I can tell you my kids will not ever play any of those war games. I grew up with Super Mario Bros. Now they have games that show blood splattering the screen when you shoot someone. It’s disgusting. As far as Bubba goes, I would sue the entire police force’s ass. Unless they were standing next to the fence and heard or saw a gunshot there, they had no right to enter. That is just unbelievable to me.

      Reply
  15. What a crock! This continues to happen and they keep covering it up! They need to realize what a pet means to an owner and stay away from private property! Why didn’t the contact the owner? What a bunch of stupid heartless bastards!

    Reply
  16. The police were responding to reports of gunfire emanating from that yard. I am curious why an officer would take that opportunity to enter a yard by himself. Is it not standard procedure to wait for back-up when shots are fired?

    Further, what kind of protocol is it to enter a backyard without permission in response to a gunfire when there could be guns outside the home? Or, if one was not actually afraid for his well-being, why did he not start his investigation where the actual gun owners might be located – inside the home? And if he was concerned about his safety, he should have waited for back-up and approached the front of the home first.

    And, the dog is a mixed breed, not an American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier.

    Reply
  17. ezbuddy

     /  January 8, 2013

    Whenever possible, police like opportunities to use their dicks er, uh, I mean guns, and will shoot a dog, as it seems, at any opportunity. It happens over & over, exactly like Bubba’s killing, and no one ever is held accountable, and po po know it. It’s more like exterminating or hunting than protecting themselves. Dogs on chains, dogs inside cars, dogs enclosed inside personal property boundries, all shot with flimsy excuses.

    The ONLY reason people aren’t shot more often is because other’s will sue them, regardless of how their superiors say it’s okay. Constitutional rights mean nothing to “those in charge,” as seen over & over again.

    Things are getting worse in our country, as far as our freedoms & rights are concerned. We’re as free as they allow us to be. Our prisons are full of some of the ‘wrong’ people.

    I hope Bubba’s family files a suit against the killer & his department for excusing & participating in the killing.

    Reply

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