Man says police wrongly shot medical aid dogby Adam Walser
Jun. 07, 2010
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(WHAS11) -- Police say that the incident has already been thoroughly investigated and it has been determined that officers did nothing wrong
But it’s somewhat a case of whose story do you believe….a pet owner who says he lost his medical assistance dog, or police who say they did what they had to while responding to a call.
An attorney has now been contacted, and it’s likely that the court system could sort it all out in the futureSnoopy Dott and her owner Mike Birk were inseparable for many years, until the afternoon of April 27.
“My dog had to be put to sleep. I'm stuck with a vet bill,” said Birk. “I have bi-polar depression and that was my medical dog. It's kind of like shooting a man's seeing-eye dog.”
Police shot Snoopy Dott multiple times while in Birk’s neighborhood looking for a fleeing burglary suspect.
A witness reportedly told police that the man ran towards Birk's house.
“They went to that house to find out more information and as they were doing so, knocking on the door, the dog was at a window barking,” LMPD Spokesperson Officer Carey Klain said.
“When I opened up my door and stepped out, they already had their guns drawn and were ready to shoot,” Birk said. “He came out aggressively towards the officers, barking and showing his teeth,” Klain said. “The officers asked the resident there to please get control of the dog and the officers began backing into the yard.”
“They hit her three times,” said Birk, who described hearing a barrage of gunfire.
Birk said his dog never attacked.
“Never, never. The whole 11 years that I've known her,” he said. “She's never attacked one person
Birk says a hole on his porch, a shell casing and a 9 millimeter bullet are the lingering reminders of the day he had to have Snoopy Dott put to sleep.
“It has been cleared and looked into and it appeared that they followed procedures,” said Klain.
Birk now has a new aid dog, but he says his nightmares haven't stopped.
“Seeing her face when she walked into the house, she looked back at me like ‘daddy, did I do something wrong?’ and ‘I'm sorry.’”
Police say their policy allows them to use deadly force against any animals which poses a danger to an officer or the public.
Officers say that the suspect they were seeking was never found or charged.
Birk says that he has plenty of witnesses who will say the dog was not threatening anyone when she was shot, if this matter winds up in court.