September 14, 2014
A family in Hawaii plans to file a lawsuit against police who shot their dog, then left bleeding for over an hour, KHON2 reported September 12.
A video can be viewed by clicking here.
The incident occurred a week ago in Kalihi when HPD officers responded to a domestic call. After speaking with the family, police officers were about to leave the area when the unthinkable happened.
Bruce, a two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix, got out of his cage and lunged at the officers. Two of the officers were able to sidestep the dog, but the third officer drew his weapon and fired.
Not only did the officer shoot Bruce, owner Kristen Butac was denied the right to seek veterinary care for more than an hour.
When the family asked HPD officers if they could take their dog for emergency treatment, they were told they couldn’t leave with the dog until the investigation was complete.
KHON2 asked the police why Kristen wasn’t allowed to take Bruce to the vet and was told it was standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting to be investigated, and the scene couldn’t be disturbed.
The news station received a callback Friday afternoon saying the officers made a mistake and should have allowed the family to get medical help for their dog. The HPD described Bruce as aggressive and vicious.
Bruce, who was shot in the chest, survived. He’s almost as good as new, Kristen reported, despite having treatment withheld for over an hour.
The terror the family went through during that hour remains. Kristen says they pleaded for someone-anyone-to be allowed to take Bruce for treatment.
The family became even more frightened when investigators found the shell casing, but couldn’t find the bullet. Kristen was afraid the round could still be inside her dog’s chest. She described the horror of that day saying
“We didn’t know what other injuries he had, so we were just trying our best to just put pressure on his wound.”
Bruce was later treated at an emergency veterinary clinic, where the family was told their dog was very lucky. The bullet had entered and exited Bruce’s chest, with the only damage being to soft tissue.
Kristen and her family are outraged and are planning to file a lawsuit for refusing treatment to an injured dog.