Leslie Hanson and her boyfriend called 911 early Friday morning because she thought someone was trying to break into her home. What happened next broke her heart.
Their neighbor, who police identified was under the influence of narcotics, started stumbling in their yard, knocking things over and making a ruckus in his disorientation.
Once police arrived on the scene, Hanson had to watch a police officer fire several rounds at her service dog. He was only 2 years old and got out since the gates were unlocked.
The officer felt threatened since the dog, Crios, charged at him. He felt that he needed to protect himself from serious injury, so he shot the dog seven times.
There is a sign that says, “Beware of Dog” that is clearly visible on her sign, but it is not there due to any aggression from her pupper. It was an attempt to scare away any possible intruders.
The police did not allow Hanson and her boyfriend to leave the scene, detaining them for questioning. They wanted to take Crios to an animal hospital. There is a chance he would have survived, but this course of action caused the dog to bleed out.
“I could take him anywhere–the park, Lowe’s, the stores–people loved him,” she said. Hanson says the officer shot her dog a total of seven times. Her neighbor, who witnessed the shooting, says police wouldn’t initially allow Hanson’s boyfriend to leave the scene, to take Crios to the animal hospital. “They would not let him go. The dog I think would have been all right, but he bled to death,” said Olson.
Hanson says she’s not looking to sue the department, but is pushing for better training when it comes to handling pets while on duty. “He didn’t have to shoot seven times. He could have used pepper spray, tased him–even shooting him once. I could have lived with just about anything, but I can’t live with this.” The Pueblo Police Department said in a facebook post Monday that officers receive training called “Canine Encounters” and that lethal force is a last resort. Hanson is in the process of trying to get a copy of the body cam footage.