HAMMOND, IN — A family is upset after a police officer pulled up to their home, and within seconds without warning had pulled his gun and shot the family dog that was contained inside an invisible fence on its owners’ property.
The dog’s owner, Norma Maldonado, called attention to the June 10th incident after her 1.5 year old puppy, Lilly, received a bullet to the face during a family cookout. She wrote to local media:
My dog was shot in the face today by an officer from the Hammond Indiana police department. Lilly was on the side of our house with my two boys ages 7, and 11 years old, my daughter 16 yrs old and my baby boy 11 months were standing 15 feet behind her. We have a sign and flags in our front yard warning everyone that Lilly is on the premises and is confined by an electric fence, there are also flags marking up to what point she can reach (middle of our front yard). The police officer decided to jump out of his vehicle, take out his gun and shoot my dog in the face in front of all my kids and neighbors. He never said a word before he shot her! Our family needs justice, hammond police like to beat up there K9 police dogs and now it seems they like to shoot the residents pets in front of children! What would of happened if he would of missed and hit my kids instead? Something has to be done… Someone please help us get this out, he completely didn’t care for my kids safety or well being.
The reason police arrived on the scene was apparently a complaint that the dog was not tethered; an apparent violation of the city’s leash law. The officer was dispatched with the expectation that a pet was loose.
The officer pulled up to the address, walked onto the property and immediately found the justification to shoot the dog. HPD’s statement characterized the dog as in “attack mode,” defending the shooting by stating the stating that the officer saw the dog approaching and was justified in stopping it with force.
But the witnesses say that the shooting was unnecessary and dangerous. There were children just a few feet away. Was the officer really so terrified that he had to open fire at a picnic?
After police arrived, it was “not even 10 seconds later we heard the gun shot and Lily screamed out,” Maldonado said to FOX 32. “And I just dropped what I was doing and I went running and I has still seen the officer pointing his gun.”
“After being shot,” Maldonado said, “Lilly crawled to the baby, since she is never far from his side.”
Maldonado asked the officer why he shot her dog. She recalled the response: “He said, ‘because your dog was loose.’”
The name of the officer has not been publicly released, and with the department’s swift absolution of their own actions, accountability is practically impossible.