AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Aurora shot and killed a dog after an officer said the animal was acting “aggressively.” The last moments of the dog’s life captured on video have gone viral.
Officers with the Aurora Police Department say they’re trained extensively to handle aggressive dogs and said this animal fit the description. Police said a taser and pepper spray wouldn’t have worked.
Neighbors called 911 when a woman was surrounded by two aggressive dogs, misidentified as pit bulls.
Police said when an officer arrived and tried to approach the dogs, the larger of the two growled and took an attack stance. The officer said he was frightened and shot the dog once.
In the police report the officer stated, “I was frightened- I was afraid that this dog could do serious bodily injury to me.”
“For a seasoned officer to say that he’s never seen dogs act as aggressively, it should come with some credence that he knows what he’s saying,” said Aurora Police spokesman Crystal McCoy.
Valeria Rios had to put down her dog, Angelo, because the gunshot wound was so severe. The video of their final moments together, posted on social media, has gone viral.
“He did not deserve to get shot. Animal control should have been there, not them,” said Rios.
Rios said the dogs, which are not pit bulls, are often mistaken for the breed which is something officers did on the scene.
Police released documents showing that the dogs were permitted to be in the City of Aurora.
Rios claims witnesses and responding officers exaggerated the incident.
“She was not attacked… Angelo did grab her dog and roughed him up a little but let him go. A vicious dog would have killed that dog,” said Rios.
Police said based on the dog’s behavior, the breed didn’t matter.
“If we’re able to comprehend or recognize aggressive behavior, the officers are going to protect the public and themselves,” said McCoy.
Police said the dog had a prior citation for being an aggressive animal.
The officer was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting. That video has not been released.