June 21, 2013
A 2-year-old German Shepherd named Kiki is dead after El Monte, California police shot the family dog in a fenced in yard on June 19. Police and the dogs owners, Cathy Luu, and her husband Chi Nguyen have a difference of opinion on how the shooting occurred. This time evidence is on the side of the family, as a video camera captured the entire incident.
This latest shooting began at their residence 4700 block of Maxson Road at around 4:30 p.m. Police were supposed to visit the family earlier concerning their teenage son, who had run away from home over the weekend. The family had set up a meeting time of 3:30 p.m.
When asked why the dog was shot, the officer responded that she didn’t see the two “beware of dog” signs posted in the yard. The family has identified the officer as Officer A. Castillo. Castillo stated two dogs came charging around the house, with the German Shepherd acting more aggressively than the pit bull.
The video taken at the residence show police drove up to the residence and parked their car. Officers then proceeded to come onto the property . Office Castillo said in her report that she continued to knock on the door with her foot, but was forced to shoot Kiki when the dog charged her.
After the shooting, the family was told by one officer that their dog was ok, even though it was laying in the yard and vomiting blood. Kiki was clearly in need of emergency veterinary attention, and police denied her even the most basic care until it was too late.
Kiki had to be euthanized due to the seriousness of her injuries. There are many troubling circumstances about this family dog being shot by police.
The video backing up the story told by the Luu family is only part of it. First of all, Kiki had to remain laying wounded in their yard for more than an hour before animal control officials took her for treatment.
The shooting took place at 4:36 p.m., with animal control arriving at 5:12 p.m. The dog wasn’t carried from the scene by animal control until 5:39 p.m. Part of the delay was the family being required to show license information not only on Kiki, but on their other dog as well.
Police officials originally told Luu they would cover Kiki’s medical expenses until a veterinarian informed them the dog would require a $7,000+ operation to save her life.
Luu alleges the supervisor at the police department told her that the dog’s medical expenses were going to exceed the value of the dog and that the family should just get another pet. Unable to afford the operation, the family made the decision to euthanize Kiki.
The family was told the vet treatment already rendered had reached $900. The clinic told the family no payment was required. They don’t know whether the police department covered the bill or whether the veterinarian forgave the charges.
Neighbor Suzette Parrish said in an interview with SGV Tribune
“This is absolutely wrong. They shoot the persons’s dog. Then they say it’s not their fault. Then they won’t get the dog medical attention. Then they don’t want to pay for the operation that (would) save the dog. There is no justified reason for shooting that dog.”
Another disturbing circumstance is the safety concern of police firing their weapon in a neighborhood crowded with children. There were four children home when Kiki was shot. According to the video, there was a children’s pool party taking place directly across the street at the time of the shooting.
The couples 11-year-old son is devastated, as Kiki was his baby. The older son who had been reported as a runaway was at a friends house. The family spoke to him the day after the shooting.
El Monte Police Captain Dan Buehler has ordered an investigation into the incident. Buehler insists animal control officials were contacted immediately after the incident, yet Kiki wasn’t transported for treatment until almost half an hour after they arrived.
The family would like to see remorse on the part of the police department. They’d like an apology from the police department. And they’d also like a new puppy to help ease the grief of an 11-year-old boy who cries himself to sleep at night because he misses his dog.
The video on the source link won’t embed but can be played directly from their page. Take a look and decide for yourself who’s telling the truth and who’s not.
Readers, what do you think should happen in this latest case of police coming onto a property and using lethal force as a first defense against a family dog? Don’t forget there were four children home at the time, with many neighborhood children playing directly across the street.
Your comments are welcome.