Justice for Gabanna: Dog shot to death by Kingston, Pennsylvania police

May 26, 2014

Another dog is dead, killed by a Pennsylvania police officer. The family has set up a Facebook page in memory of their slain pet.

Gabanna, a 2-year-old female pit bull, wandered away from her John Street home on May 14. Owners Brianna Ridzon and Mike Casale were unaware Gabanna had escaped from their porch.

A neighbor was able to catch her and placed the dog back in her yard. Gabanna escaped a second time and was too fearful to be caught again. One of the neighbors wanted to put a leash on her, but she kept backing away.

Police were called, and after being unable to catch Gabanna, she was shot. According to her family, Gabanna was placed in a garbage bag and dumped on the ground beside a dumpster.

The family learned later in the day via social media that Kingston Police had killed their dog.

A video interview with the family can be seen here.

Kingston Police Chief Michael Krzywicki said his officers tried to safely capture Gabanna before he gave the order to kill her. Although Chief Hrzywicki declined an on-camera interview, he did say off camera that his officers tried for more than two hours to catch the dog.

Hrzywicki was concerned for the safety of the neighborhood, and after reviewing the case determined his officers followed procedure in keeping the public safe.

Neighbors who didn’t want to be on the news after witnessing the dog being shot said Gabanna refused to have a noose put on her.

Brianna told news media

“They chased her, they cornered her in and just shot her.”

Brianna and Michael want answers as to why a gun was used as the first line of defense, instead of a Taser or mace.

During the week the SPCA of Luzerne County or a state dog warden could have been contacted. But because both were unavailable on the weekend, police took it upon themselves to kill the dog.

The family is mourning Gabanna, including Ryleigh, the couple’s young daughter. They’re left with the same questions so many families ask after losing a family pet to a bullet. Those who thought the police are there to “protect and serve” need to open their eyes where dogs are concerned.

Dog owners, many times police kill not because they have to, but because they can. It’s time the American public realizes that.



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