A Salt Lake City dog is dead, killed in his own yard by Salt Lake City Police Department deputies, KSL TV reported June 18.
The incident occurred when a 3-year-old boy named Kelby went missing from his home near 2500 South and Fillmore Street around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. He was found safe within half an hour.
As police searched for the missing boy, and officer encountered a Weimaraner named Geist, who was in the yard of his owner, Sean Kendall. The officer felt Geist was aggressive, and fearing for his safety, shot Geist.
It's not against the law for police to enter a private residence during an emergency.
Sean says Geist has never been aggressive, and believes what really happened was that his dog heard the officer, and came out of his dog kennel to see who was there.
Although neighbor Marsha Stemer heard two gunshots and witnessed an officer leaving the yard, it was a single gunshot to the head that killed Geist. In an interview with KSL TV, Sean described the loss of his dog
"Just the sheer sight of seeing my dog there — it was traumatizing. Now he's dead. I have him wrapped up in a blanket in the back of my truck, and now I have to go bury him."
An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Salt Lake Police Department before they issue a formal statement.
There are several things troubling about this case. The first is officer's aren't prepared to at least keep an eye out for a family dog. You'd think when police see a kennel, they'd have enough intelligence to look for a family pet close by.
Another issue is the location of the second bullet. Marsha heard two shots fired, but only one struck Geist. Officer's who can't hit a target are a danger to their community. Not that they should be aiming at family dogs, mind you.
Since it's sometimes necessary for officer's to go onto private property, why don't they receive dog behavior training? Because, you understand, people with fences usually have a dog.
Unless Sean knows for a fact Geist was shot approaching the officer, a necropsy should be done. Cops are known to lie about these things, and many dogs have been shot as they're retreating.
It's sad that dog owner's have to learn through personal experience that dogs aren't safe inside their home, outside in a fence, in a public park, or anywhere police may be.
It's even sadder that the majority of officer's completely get away with killing the family dog, their number one excuse being "It was aggressive and I feared for my safety."
For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.