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Dogs shot by police: A tribute to the victims of recent tragedies

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The number of dogs shot by police in communities across the United States continues to grow. It's estimated a dog is shot every 98 minutes. Below are just a few I've reported on who have made the news.

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Be sure to watch the video, lovingly produced by Marsha Soto. It's an awesome tribute to these slain family members.

Jordan, a 1 1/2 year-old pit bull owned by Terry Sally, was shot by Peoria City police on May 20. Police said in their report that Jordan was aggressive. Terry, along with several witnesses, say family and friends were denied their request to take Jordan to a safe place.

Nala, a 7-year-old Shar-pei owned by Sarah Gossard, died June 14 at the hands of Baltimore Police Department officers. Her throat was slit by Officer Jeffrey Bolger, while Officer Thomas Schmidt allegedly held Nala down. The two officers have been removed from their duty.

Geist, a Weimaraner owned by Sean Kendall, was shot when Salt Lake City Police came into a private, fenced, and gated backyard on June 18, 2014 when the police were searching for an allegedly missing child. The officer responsible says Geist was aggressive, and he feared for his safety.

Bullet, an 8-year-old Rottweiler owned by Russell Lane, was shot and killed in his own home on May 30, when Round Rock (TX) police responded to a burglar alarm, entered the home, and shot Bullet five times. Not only was Bullet shot, police took his body, which compromised any evidence that in truth Bullet was murdered. Russell found hair on the floor and two bullet holes in the wall.

Cream, a pit bull owned by Adrien Best, was shot by Anderson City Police (South Carolina). The family dog, who was reportedly hit once, ran off into some bushes, and no longer posed a threat. Witnesses say the officer went over to the bushes and fired a second shot, killing the family pet. This was all over a stolen cell phone, and ended with the death of the family dog.

Shiner Bock, a 9-year-old German Shepherd owned by Julian Reyes, was shot and killed by Austin Police on April 24, 2013. Shiner was shot last spring as he accompanied his dad as he was doing some work at his storage building. Police had been called to what they believed was a burglary in progress in the area. After shiner was shot, Julian was handcuffed and not allowed to tend to his dying dog. A memorial service was held this past April, hosted by the Silverman Law Group.

Rocky, a 10-month-old lab/pit mix owned by Bianca Alakson of Redford, Michigan and boyfriend Ryan Showalker. Redford Township Police were chasing a suspect through the neighborhood, and claim they saw that person inside the home. This, they say, gave officers the right to ignore a "beware of dog" sign on the fence in the back yard. Officer's entered their property through an unlocked back gate. Officers 'feared for their safety' and shot the pup.

Gabanna, a 2-year-old pit owned by Brianna Ridzon and Mike Casale, was shot and killed by an Officer of the Kingston Borough Police Department May 18. She had escaped from her yard, then escaped again. Neighbors report police wouldn't allow them to leash her and get her safely home. Instead, Gabanna was shot, placed in a trash bag and left beside a dumpster. The family learned of her death through social media.

Candy, a 3-year-old Blue Heeler owned by Cole and Jayna Middleton, was shot by Rains County, Texas officer Jerrod Dooley on April 18. Dooley was responding to a burglary call three hours after it was placed by the family. This will be a landmark case in just how far police will go to cover their tracks. Dooley reported Candy was shot because she was aggressive. A necropsy showed the bullet entered the back of her head. Dooley didn't even have the decency to put her out of her misery. Cole was forced to strangle his beloved dog. Dooley has asked for a jury trial after animal cruelty were charged. He was also relieved of his duties as a Rains County officer.

This isn't a "pit" issue. It's a situation where police shoot family dogs, many times just because they can. Now more and more families are fighting back and winning substantial lawsuits. They're also seeing the officer(s) responsible face animal cruelty charges.

For a list of the articles I've covered on dogs shot by police, please click here.

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