August 15, 2013
The dog, a German Shepherd named Vinny, was shot when police came onto the Leander, Texas property of James and Renata Simmons on June 17. Vinny was shot when he came running around the side of the house, and police trying to execute a warrant and the wrong address considered the dog a threat.
An attorney for the Simmons family filed a claim with the city’s insurance company on behalf of the family to cover Vinny’s $1,500 vet bills. The claim was denied, with the city claiming they’re not responsible for the officer who shot Vinny in her own yard.
Now the attorney plans to file a lawsuit against the city and the Leander Police Department on behalf of the family.
The Leander Police Department has since announced dog behavior training for police officers to prevent future incidents.
This decision doesn’t look good for the City of Leander, or for the police department. While paying the vet expenses won’t take into account the psychological suffering the family has been put through, it would help with the poor image Leander has had to live with since the shooting.
Sometimes money needs to be put aside, and just do what’s honorable. The amount of $1,500 is petty cash when compared to the amount the city could end up paying, should they lose the lawsuit.