CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family is in mourning after one of their dogs was shot and killed by a Coral Springs Police officer.
The incident happened on Monday after police responded to the scene of a loose dog near Northwest 35th Street and 114th Lane.
The responding officer located the family’s dog, Sunny, and then tried to return him to his owner.
“He was like, ‘Do you know whose dog this is?’ And I was like, ‘Sure, the guy that lives across the street from me,’ so I showed him where it’s at,” said neighbor Lonnie Biles. “‘But don’t go up there because the little dog, he’s out. He might try to charge at you, but he’s not going to bite you.'”
The family’s other dog, Juicy, was outside the home, according to the police report.
The report said in part, “the dog immediately charged at me growling and showing his teeth. I gave a loud verbal command to the dog in an attempt to deter its aggressive action, and the dog paused for a second when it was about 10 feet away from me but then charged at me again, growling and showing its teeth.”
“Then like five seconds later, you just heard the gun shot, ‘bang,'” said Biles, “and he’s just like, ‘errrrrrrr.'”
The responding officer said he was forced to shoot Juicy because she charged at him.
“She shot in the head. When I go to the hospital, the doctor told me that she can’t make it,” added Daniel Luciano, the dog’s owner. “I think it’s not right what he do.”
According to her family, the 8-year-old pit bull was very kind and loving.
“She was a gentle giant,” said Julissa Santos. “She was very nice. She loved everybody. She was great with kids.”
Biles said he’s never known Juicy to be an aggressive dog.
The family feels there was something else the officer could have done.
“There was plenty other ways to handle the situation. They could have tased her,” said Santos. “I accept the fact that if she was attacking the person or bit somebody that they would have shot her. I accept that, but she wasn’t. She was just protecting her home.”
“The way they shot my dog, maybe they have another way to get a dog calmed down,” added Tany Garces.
The family said Juicy was their baby inside the home and that they terribly miss her.
They also said they wouldn’t have been so angry if the officer had at least done them the courtesy of going to their home to explain what happened.
Coral Springs Police wanted to remind residents to keep their dogs and pets on leashes so tragedies like this don’t happen again.
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