We currently represent clients in a number of cases where police entered their yard and senselessly killed a dog who had not made any aggressive move toward them.
In cases like these, our goal goes beyond monetary compensation for clients. It is to change the culture in the law enforcement community. We seek to reach a result that requires law enforcement officers to go through mandatory training.
BALOO - LOS ANGELES
At around midnight on December 12, 2016, Baloo, a young Akita, was shot to death in his gated backyard by an LA police officer while officers were responding to an argument between a tenant and her friend. Baloo was part of the Smith family, who lived upstairs and were not involved in the altercation. Police did not announce their presence when they entered the property. In fact, Baloo's family only became aware of the police after hearing two gunshots. When one of the sons looked outside, he saw Baloo had been shot. No one had heard Baloo so much as bark before the gunshots.
They ran downstairs, but officers refused to allow anyone to tend to Baloo. After more than an hour, the family was finally allowed to go to the back yard, but Baloo was not there. Someone had Baloo removed from the premises without the family's knowledge.
GRIZZLY - SAN DIEGO
A seven year-old mixed breed canine, Grizzly, was a member of the Fuentes family since he was a pup. He was shot at least three times inside his own fenced yard by a San Diego police officer just after midnight on February 22, 2016. Grizzly ultimately bled to death from his gunshot wounds, in agony for over two hours, as his family’ desperately, repeatedly, and even politely pled with various police officers for medical attention. Their pleas went completely ignored while police continued interrogating them about whether they had witnessed anything related to the stolen vehicle.
The only reason police had entered the Fuentes' property was to ask them whether or not they were innocent witnesses to a reported stolen vehicle. Before the police entered the property, their neighbor (the victim of the vehicle theft) told the officers that the Fuentes family was probably asleep, so it would not be a good time to ask them questions. The neighbor also alerted the officers that Grizzly was in the back yard. Even so, officers opened the latch on the gate, entered, and for no apparent reason, shot Grizzly.