An ACO and 2 police officers responded to a loose dog complaint in Commerce City, CO on Saturday. The caller, Kenny Collins, did not report that the dog was aggressive, simply that she was running loose in the street:
“He never came at me in an aggressive manner,” Collins said.
He said he never feared the dog, but just wanted animal control to pick it up since it was loose.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Collins, the dog, called Chloe, was being cared for by a neighbor who left her in the garage while she went out shopping. Chloe apparently triggered the sensor on the garage door opener and escaped. When the ACO and police arrived, Chloe ran back inside the garage, apparently trying to get away from the strangers. Police officers tazed 3 year old Chloe multiple times and shot at her once and eventually Chloe attempted to leave the garage. As she walked out of the garage, the ACO caught her in a chokepole. While the ACO held Chloe in the metal noose on the steel pole, a police officer shot the dog 4 times, killing her.
Mr. Collins’ son filmed the killing on his cell phone. I have not watched the video but a local news reporter asked Alicia Hall, an animal behavior technician with the Dumb Friends League, to view and comment on it:
“The animal could still potentially be a danger, but if the catch pole is being used appropriately, the animal should be restrained safely. As far as I can see from the video, it looks like the dog actually walked right into the catch pole as it was coming out of the garage and was safely restrained,” Hall said.
Commerce City Police Detective Mike Saunders has a different opinion:
“Yes, the dog was on the catch pole. But, it was the officer’s concern that the animal control agent wasn’t able to maintain control of the animal and the fear was that the animal was going to come off the catch pole and attack the officers or get loose and run back into the neighborhood putting citizens in danger,” Saunders said.
The male officer apparently thought the female ACO was incapable of doing her job and restraining a non-aggressive dog whose neck was in a metal noose on the end of a steel pole while walking from the garage to the ACO truck. He was concerned citizens might be in danger. It seems to me that citizens were not in danger until police arrived and began firing in a neighborhood with children present. One stray bullet hit the AC vehicle.
As usual, police will police themselves on the matter:
Saunders says Commerce City police are now reviewing the video.
“We need time to look at the video. We need time to look over the officer’s report. And we need time to speak to the officer before we can comment,” Saunders said.
Saunders said if there is any wrongdoing, the department will say so.
If you choose to watch the video at the link, please share your impressions.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)