Irmo family unhappy officer shot and killed their dog in her own yard

September 3, 2013

A four-year-old dog named Kenya is dead, and her family left grieving after police shot the dog, WIS10 News reported September 3.

The incident began Labor Day when a jogger reported Kenya, a German Shepherd/Lab mix had chased the jogger down the street. Irmo Police Department (South Carolina) answered the call.

Kenya had been known to escape three or four times in the past, owner Jared Mann told WIS. A neighbor would find her, and call Jared, who would then go and retrieve his dog. Kenya was known for roaming the neighborhood but had never shown any aggression to anyone in the past.

The family returned to their home on Charring Cross Road after celebrating Labor Day, where they found a note on their property explaining how Kenya had charged the officer, forcing him to fire his weapon and shoot the family dog.

The officer felt threatened by Kenya, and Police Chief Brian Buck says the officer was justified because shooting Kenya was considered self-defense.

Jared spoke to reporters on how he learned his dog was dead.

“We found a note on the front door saying that our dog has been shot by Irmo PD. We found the blood right after we found the note in our front yard.”

When police arrived, Kenya was already back on her property near the steps in her front yard. Irmo has an ordinance saying it’s illegal for any domestic animal to run at large on the streets or in public places.

Neighbors who heard the gunshots spoke with officers after the shooting. In an interview with WIS, one neighbor has a different view on whether or not Kenya was an aggressive dog, stating

“My husband and me were both talking to the police officers that were here,” said the neighbor. “And the one who shot the dog said that she had charged him. But we had seen that dog before in our backyard and she’s never shown any aggression ever.”

The family isn’t sure how Kenya escaped. They had a chain attached to the back steps, plus an electrical fence.

A interview with Jared, which could not be embedded into this article, can be found here.

When Jared asked why the officer felt the need to kill his dog, he was told the officer felt threatened by Kenya’s behavior. He chose to use his gun rather than his Taser because he wanted to use the weapon most likely to guarantee his safety.

Not only did police kill Kenya, according to neighbors, Kenya was still alive 30 minutes after the shooting. A neighbor asked if Kenya could be taken to a vet, and police told the neighbor no. One officer then asked another to get a tarp, then they covered her up.

Yes, Kenya escaped, but was this a good reason to kill her? She was in her yard when police arrived, not in the street being a threat.

It may be some kind of law not to allow anyone except the owner to take the dog for veterinary treatment that could have saved her life. Morally, it’s just plain wrong to cover up a critically injured dog who lay bleeding to death in her own backyard.

Beth Gallegly Hukill commented on the Irmo Police Department Facebook page

“Your officer shot a dog, in a residential neighborhood and you condone that officers actions? What if one of the bullets strayed and hit a neighbors house? would it still be justifiable? No respect for life or others property… not the way it is suppose to be. you are to protect and serve. And you probably call yourself Christian.. Well then.. what would Jesus have done?”

Kenya’s family and the community believe excessive force was used, and believe Kenya could have been contained using non-lethal methods. How do the readers feel?

 

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