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East Peoria Police refuse to return body of dog shot by police

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According to a post on Facebook: Justice For Bella Shot By East Peoria Police, a dog belonging to Shane Ellis was killed by East Peoria, Illinois police on August 21. East Peoria Police now refuse to return the body of the dog they shot.

Bella, an 8-year-old pit bull, was shot and killed when police answered a dog at large call after she escaped from her yard on Thursday. She was shot in her side in the neighbor's yard as she ran for home. According to Shane, Bella was on private property at the time the officer fired the fatal shot.

Bella almost made it to her front porch before the officer shot her a second time in the chest, killing her.

Although the officers who responded say Bella was "threatening and annoying." Shane says Bella was only barking, and had never bitten anyone or showed any kind of aggression. To make matters worse, East Peoria police allegedly threatened to use a Taser on Shane if he went near Bella, or tried to touch her body.

Then they took Bella's body to an undisclosed area, where it is currently being held at Tazewell Animal Control. Police have ordered Animal Control not to return Bella to her family so she can have a proper burial. The plan is to behead Bella and then cremate her body. East Peoria Police have told the family Bella has already been destroyed.

The family wants a necropsy done for investigative purposes, so police are doing their best not to allow this to happen. This case stinks of a cover up, as necropsy findings have shown an officer guilty of murder and lying in past cases.

Bella was up to date on vaccinations. She never bit anyone. So why did she need to be beheaded and cremated unless it was to cover up evidence. If the police want the dogs brain they should have to file with a judge for a search warrant to have the test done but of course they will also need to come up with a valid reason for this.

A dogs brain is shipped to a lab to be tested for the rabies virus if and only if there is no records of a rabies vaccine being given. Shane does have vet records to prove a rabies vaccine has been given to the dog, and believes there is no reason to remove the brain unless police want to remove a fatal gun shot wound to hide evidence.

A petition has been set up here, along with a. The Facebook page has more than 700 likes since it was started on Friday.

Shane has filed for a copy of the incident report under the Freedom of Information Act. The East Peoria Police have five days to respond to that request. He's been given the runaround so far.

The "ticket" Shane was issued didn't have the name of the East Peoria officer who issued the ticket, nor did it have his badge number.

Take a look at the scribbling on the ticket. This isn't allowed on official documents. A single clean strike through then initialed by the person writing the ticket is what's done to prevent having to write a corrected ticket.

When Shane called the East Peoria Police Department, the supervisor refused to speak with him on the phone, saying she knew nothing about what happened. This same woman then spoke up and said Bella had already been cremated, but didn't have knowledge of where Bella's remains were.

The woman speaking with Shane hung up on him after he told them police shouldn't have any control over the remains of his dead dog.

A call was even placed to the FBI office that has jurisdiction over East Peoria, who told Shane they don't have jurisdiction because Bella is a dog, and not a U.S. citizen. Shane explained that as a U.S. citizen, he's been disrespected by police, who took his property without cause and are refusing to return it to him unless they get to mutilate it first by beheading and cremation.

The family doesn't want Bella cremated, but with the "police state" mentality now present in Illinois, rights to personal property may no longer exist.

Listed below are some officials you may wish to chat with about this matter.

East Peoria City Hall
(309) 698-4715
Mayor Dave Mingus
(309) 645-3393
Commissioner Timothy Jeffers
(309) 219-3609
Commissioner Chad Joos
(309) 696-2863
Tazewell Animal Control
309-925-3370

The East Peoria Police and County Attorney will not return Bella to her rightful owner which is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment of Illegal Search and Seizure.

The family is seeking legal advice on what to do next. If anyone knows of a good animal advocate attorney who would be willing to take the case, please contact Shane Ellis on the Facebook page.

To read more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.

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