SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Frustration and outrage are growing in Springfield after an officer critically injured a dog Tuesday night, but police say the shooting is justified.
The owners say they didn’t have the $2,000 to pay for the bullet to be removed by vets and are now speaking out against the police department’s use of excessive force.
Breonna Kerr spent the day Wednesday comforting her dog Kiki.
“My dog still has a bullet in her head, and there’s a chance that she could have to be put down or die from it,” Kerr said.
On Tuesday night, a Springfield police officer responding to call about an aggressive pit bull in a neighborhood shot Kiki in the head.
“It was chasing people down the street. We had one phone call from a neighbor saying that there was a younger type teen male that had been chased by the dog and had been cornered,” said Sgt. Russ Boring.
But Kerr says Kiki is not aggressive and doesn’t think the shooting was justified.
“It’s not fair to her. The people say she was trying to get inside because the officer was chasing her and gunned her down, and I feel like it wasn’t handled the correct way and it should’ve been done and dealt with differently than it had,” said Kerr.
But police say it’s their job to keep people safe, and the officer needed to act quickly to make sure the dog didn’t hurt anyone.
“In fact, the officer did a very good job and several of the citizens commented that the officer did a great job out there and were very happy with what happened,” said Boring.
And while Kerr’s family says they know Kiki escaped from her backyard, they want justice for the dog.
“He had to make a split decision and I understand that, but if you really look back and evaluate, the situation he probably would be in agreement,” said Don Teague.
“Their breeds going to have nothing to do. I mean we’re going to base our decision based on circumstances that are in front of us,” said Boring.
“That’s a life, no matter if it’s a human being or an animal. That’s a life, and you know it’s not fair for her to sit there and be like that in pain and agony,” said Kerr.
A group of local dog lovers say they’ll be protesting the Springfield Police Department Thursday at 4 p.m. because they say police are not trained to deal with dog calls.