The officer claims the dogs were acting aggressively.
However, a witness at the scene gave a different story.
“There was two large St. Bernard dogs in my cul-de-sac. I posted on 530 (the area’s zip code) needs hoping somebody would recognize the dogs I feared they would be killed because of their large size. 10 minutes later a cop shows up corners them in front of a house and kills them!! I am beyond loosing my mind. One dog is still in the front yard suffering as we speak,” Amy Diane Ball posted to her Facebook page.
It turns out, the dogs belonged to her neighbor, Kevin Hutchison, who also posted to his Facebook page about the loss of his dogs, a mother and daughter pair, along with some photos of the two pooches.
“We were the best of friends and I can’t believe I wake up one day to you being gone! Just feels like a crazy nightmare! Rest easy big sis!”
Now, people are taking to Facebook to warn others not to call police about stray dogs. One poster, John Gregory, apparently created a meme and public service announcement of sorts and posted it to Amy Diane Balls’ Facebook page.
The Red Bluff Police Department along with the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting that initially killed one of the dogs and injured the other, according to KRCRTV.
However, Ball posted to her Facebook page that the injured dog died at the animal clinic. Red Bluff police said at approximately 9:30 a.m., the department received a 911 call about two large dogs running loose on Nelson Drive.
The caller said the dogs had chased a small girl, who was riding a bicycle, and that the dogs were acting aggressively.
A Red Bluff officer, who has not yet been identified, arrived on the scene and approached the two St. Bernards. After he shot them, he claimed the dogs barked at him.
According to the department, the officer used his pepper spray on the dogs to deter them, at which time they ran down the street away from the officer.
The officer then followed the dogs in his patrol car and attempted to find the dogs’ owner and the home where they came from. The officer said when the dogs turned into the front yard of a house, he pulled his patrol car ahead of them and exited his vehicle.
While speaking with the person who lived in the nearby house, the officer claims the dogs began barking at him again and moving aggressively towards him. Officials for the department said the officer became trapped between his vehicle and a fence as the dogs continued approaching him.
Apparently fearing for his life, the officer then fired several shots at the dogs, injuring the one nearest to him.
According to the officer’s story, the dog did not run away after the first shots were fired, but continued to bark at him.
After the shooting, many neighbors who witnessed the shooting became hostile, which police claim delayed emergency treatment for the dog that was injured but still alive.
After things calmed, the injured dog was transported to nearby Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic after it was determined Valley Veterinary Clinic did not have the necessary equipment to treat the dog’s wounds. Amy Ball, who witnessed the incident, gave a different account of what happened.
Ball said she had never seen the dogs in the neighborhood before, but when she checked the dogs to see if they had collars, they didn’t growl or bark at her. She then returned back to her home. Minutes later, she noticed the Red Bluff Police Department had arrived, so she walked out to let the officer know the two dogs were friendly.
Ball says the officer stayed inside his patrol car and corralled the dogs, telling her animal control was on their way.
Ball says she heard gunshots after turning around and walking back to her home. Screaming, Ball then ran towards the officer, pleading for him to stop.
But the officer reloaded his weapon. At that point, Ball says the second dog was walking away from the officer, not acting aggressively or barking.
“Don’t shoot the other dog,” she screamed at the officer.
But the officer didn’t listen and turned around and shot the other dog, which got up and drug himself to a neighbor’s yard. Ball then posted several photos of the event to her Facebook page, along with a GoFundMe for the dog’s vet bills.
However, according to her subsequent posts, the second dog is now deceased.