On Wednesday, July 9, KREM News reported that a Couer d'Alene, Idaho police officer shot and killed a dog who was inside his owner's vehicle. The shooting, which occurred near Sherman and 8th Street, occurred after a call about a suspicious van. Investigators described the dog as a "vicious pit bull" and said that it lunged at the officer, but the dog's owner stated that the animal was a black Labrador retriever.
On Wednesday morning, an officer responding to the suspicious van call approached with his gun drawn. According to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, as the officer approached the window, the Labrador retriever, named "Arfie," lunged out of the open driver's side window. Investigators stated that the officer fired one round, fatally shooting Arfie in the chest.
The van's driver, Craig Jones, was eating breakfast nearby during the incident.
“This still isn’t even real to me,” he stated. According to Jones, two-year-old Arfie didn't have a mean bone in his body.
“If my dog is barking and wondering who's peering through the windows, he doesn't care if you're a cop, an attorney, or President Bush. He doesn't know any difference,” Jones stated.
According to Coeur d’Alene OD leaders, the officer who shot Arfie was distraught afterward.
Police shootings of dogs have been in the news frequently. In 2010, a Newfoundland named Rosie was fatally shot near her home in Des Moines, Wash. Rosie's family settled a civil suit against the Des Moines PD in 2013. According to attorney Adam Karp, Rosie's owners agreed to a settlement of $51,000 plus attorney's fees from the Des Moines Police Department.
In January, a Chesapeake Bay retriever was shot by police in Maryland, which has had several other police shootings of family pets in recent years. In Aug. 2010, a federal police officer fatally shot a Siberian husky. In July 2008, a SWAT team member shot and killed two Labrador retrievers during a home search after mistakenly believing that the homeowner was involved in drug trafficking.
Recently, a Weimaraner named Geist was shot in Salt Lake City, Utah - and there has been a tremendous outcry over his death. The dog, who was shot on June 18, was in his own fenced yard at the time.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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