COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The moments before a dog was shot to death on Saturday were recorded by a neighbor on a cell phone.
Police say the dog was dangerous but some neighbors say officers went too far.
When Kenny Collins called police about an unfamiliar dog loose in his
neighborhood, he had no idea his neighbor was dog sitting for a
relative. He had no idea it would end with the dog dead.
"I called police because I saw a dog wandering loose out front," Collins said.
Collins' neighbor was watching a large breed dog for her cousin who
was out of town for the holidays. The woman, who did not want to comment
at this time, said she left the 3-year-old dog named Chloe in the
garage when she left to go shopping. She thought she closed the garage
upon leaving, but it seems the dog tripped the sensor forcing the garage
door open. That's when Chloe started roaming the neighborhood.
"He never came at me in an aggressive manner," Collins said.
He said he never feared the dog, but just wanted animal control to pick
it up since it was loose. But, when two police officers arrived, things
took a different turn. Collins' son shot video with a cell phone of the
"He's basically back in the garage or whatever, staying away from police," Collins said.
Collins said for about 30 minutes, the dog just sat inside the open garage door near her bed while officers decided what to do.
"You see the dog Tased whenever you see the dog drop," Collins said.
One police officer uses his Taser twice on the dog driving her back into
the garage. Then, as the dog tries to run out of the garage, an officer
pulls out his gun and shoots at the dog.
"[The dog is] coming out and [the animal control officer] just noosed him," Collins said.
After the first shot, the dog is captured by the animal control officer
on the catch pole. But, after it is captured, a police officer fires
four more shots at Chloe, killing the dog. Collins said the video shows
that the animal control officer appears upset.
"You can see her or whatever," Collins said. "Obviously, she was distraught."
He said he is also troubled by the fact that at least one stray bullet
hit the animal control officer's car with neighbors and kids all around.
"That bullet was fired in my direction with me standing across the street," Collins said.
Commerce City Police initially released this statement reading in part,
"An animal control agent was able to place a 'catch pole' around the
dog's neck. The pit bull remained extremely agitated and continued to
attempt to attack the animal control agent. Due to the dog's size and
aggressive demeanor, it could not be controlled on the catch pole. For
the safety of the animal control agent and the community, a police
officer shot and killed the dog."
But, Collins said from what he saw and from what the video shows, the dog was simply trying to run away scared.
"I totally disagree with it, totally," Collins said. "The dog was not
attacking people and that's not what I said when I called 911."
Commerce City Police Detective Mike Saunders tells 9Wants to Know
animals can still be dangerous and have even bitten officers while
"Yes, the dog was on the catch pole. But, it was the officer's concern
that the animal control agent wasn't able to maintain control of the
animal and the fear was that the animal was going to come off the catch
pole and attack the officers or get loose and run back into the
neighborhood putting citizens in danger," Saunders said. "They
attempted to tase the dog twice however that had no effect on the dog."
Saunders says Commerce City police are now reviewing the video.
"We need time to look at the video. We need time to look over the
officer's report. And we need time to speak to the officer before we
can comment," Saunders said.
Saunders said if there is any wrongdoing, the department will say so.
9NEWS dropped off a copy of the video at the Commerce City Police
station around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Collins said he also called police
and offered them a copy of the video, as well.
When 9NEWS tried to contact the dog's owner, who is currently traveling in California, he could not be reached for comment.
9Wants to Know showed the video to Alicia Hall, an animal behavior technician with the Dumb Friends League.
"The animal could still potentially be a danger, but if the catch pole
is being used appropriately, the animal should be restrained safely. As
far as I can see from the video, it looks like the dog actually walked
right into the catch pole as it was coming out of the garage and was
safely restrained," Hall said.
Hall added a frightened dog can be dangerous if cornered.
"The video, it's pretty far away and kind of fuzzy, so it's hard to see a
lot of the dog's body postures, but what I did see is that the dog did
retreat quite a bit from the police officers and the animal control
officer. It ran into the garage rather than coming out of the garage.
And even when he was coming out of the garage, it didn't look like he
was coming after them, it looked like he was trying to get away from
them," Hall said.
WARNING: The video attached is graphic.