A Wichita police officer shot a family’s 1-year-old puppy during a burglary investigation
At approximately 7:40 pm on Tuesday an officer was searching for a possibly burglary suspect
Police say the Red charged the officer and he had no choice but to shoot
The family and neighbors say Red was an extremely friendly puppy and known for playing with the neighbor kids
A Go Fund Me campaign was started to pay for Red’s cremation
It is a problem that is happening all around the country and typically receives little to no attention from media, and even less justification for the victims. Police officers are shooting family dogs and often leaving the families with no answers, along with the trauma and expenses to retrieve their family pet for burial.
In Wichita, Kansas, an officer fired eight shots at a 1-year-old mixed puppy named Red. The first shot missed Red, but the other seven struck the family pet and killing him in front of the his owners.
WPD claims they had no choice but to kill Red after he pushed his way through the fence and charged an officer in a burglary investigation.
Sgt. Jason Cooley told KAKE that Red “was in very close proximity to the officer. The officer fires his duty weapon. The dog retreats, the officer retreats. The dog gets back up and comes back to the officer again as he’s still retreating, and the officer discharges his duty weapon again.”
Burglary In Progress
The owners of Red say that was not the case. The Daily Haze spoke to one of Red’s owners, Drew Horton who witnessed the shooting. Officers were responding to a burglary in progress call at approximately 7:40 pm at 549 Ash.
The officer approached Horton’s 18-year-old sister asking if there was somebody in their shed. Horton’s sister went to check, but before she could come back, the officer had already left his car and was walking up the alley.
It should be noted that the officer went against policy when he decided to investigate on his own. His backup had not arrived and he was the only officer on the scene. Officers are supposed to wait for backup before entering scenarios such as this one. Had there been a burglary suspect on the scene, the officer placed himself and others at risk by approaching alone.
Multiple people have stated that Red is extremely friendly. When the officer walked through the alley, Red was simply curious as to who the officer was, and what he was doing in his area, which is a story we see all too often in police dog shootings. An officer enters a dog’s area and the dog ends up being shot because of simply being in a dog at their home. Red’s owners were shocked when the officer fired eight rounds at their 1-year-old dog.
Horton claims that the police moved Red’s body to make the crime scene appear smaller than it truly was. He followed up by saying where the officer originally entered from there is no way he did not have enough time or space to draw his mace or Taser.
Horton even admits that Red was not the bravest dog. He had a tremendous fear of vacuum cleaners and would have most likely stopped if the officer would have simply yelled at him.
After the shooting, Horton said officers were not helpful or forthcoming with information. They had to call in Crime Scene Investigation to figure out how many rounds were fired by the officer, eventually leading them to do a brass count. Red’s family were not allowed to know the officer’s name involved in the shooting.
Red Was A Rescue
When the family first got Red, he was 4-months-old and was severely malnourished and dehydrated. It took Horton time and money to learn that Red had a grain allergy, which forced him to eat food made from salmon, which is extremely expensive, and coconut oil was put in all of his meals. Horton told TDH, “he was a handful but I love him to death he was my son I don’t understand why my dog had to die.”
“He was the best dog anybody could have asked for. He played with every kid on his block he didn’t know a stranger.”
Video clips recorded by Jewel Hernandez and posted to her Facebook show the aftermath of the shooting, including Horton approaching the officers and asking “Who the fuck shot my dog?” You can watch all the video clips together in the video below.
The family had to put together a Go Fund Me campaign just to cover the expenses of the unexpected cremation of their family pet. The campaign has reached $350 of the $300 goal. Below are some pictures of Red we were asked to post from the family.