Local News

Federal suit filed against officers who shot, killed dog

A federal lawsuit was filed Nov. 7 against two Des Moines police officers involved in a Nov. 17, 2010, incident in which they shot and killed a dog named Rosie.

Rosie’s family is seeking punitive damages against the officers and other expenses related to the trial and general damages the family said they suffered over the loss of the dog. Damages sought exceed $10,000; a $600,000 civil claim had been filed against the officers in July.

In November 2010, police officers used a stun gun on the dog, then shot and killed the 120-pound Newfoundland. They had responded to a call from a concerned neighbor that the dog was loose and might get hit in traffic.

Rosie made it to a neighbors yard and hid in the bushes. When police arrive they said she showed her fangs and growled at them and that’s when they shot and killed her. Witnesses said that the dog “was just sitting there” when she was shot. The shooting sparked a community vigil for the dog and an independent review of the officers’ actions.

Although initial reports were that the dog was acting aggressively when she escaped from her fenced yard and was spotted roaming neighborhood streets, video taken from the patrol car dash-cams may cast the shooting in a different light.

The videos, released by Des Moines Police show the dog being tazed by an officer, then running away. In another video you  hear an officer fire his gun, presumably hitting the dog, then another officer saying “Nice.”

The Des Moines Police Department conducted a review of the shooting review, but did not find any fault with the officers. But Rosie’s owners and dog lovers said the police were out of line and that Rosie was cowering in fear when police shot her.

Ingrid Lyden, a dog breeder and member of the Newfoundland Club of Seattle, said Newfoundlands are gentle dogs and that there was a humane way to get Rosie home alive.

“Any dog that is scared is going to react a little differently. But once you had her in a yard where they were able to shut a gate, and that person was comfortable doing that, I think the recourse of the officers wasn’t necessary,” Lynden said.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

15 Comments to “Federal suit filed against officers who shot, killed dog”

    dhunt529@gmail. com said:
    November 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Are u foreal Mann? Why why what did Rosie doo soo wrong? S she didn’t deserved to die! Sometimes law nd officers” think they have all the right to do shot anyone or anything” because they are wearing(T”Batch””:-( so sorry Rosie<3u!!

    Brenda A. said:
    November 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    so so sad! :'(

    DEE JACOBS said:
    November 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! I WORK AT A VET CLINIC (8YRS) AND HAVE RARELY SEEN A NEWFIE ACT OUT-UNLESS SCARED AND THEN YOU DO ANYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP-NOT TASE THEM OR SHOOT THEM-VERY INHUMANE AND THIS MAKES ME LITERALLY SICK TO MY STOMACH-OBVIOUSLY THE OFFICERS ARE NOT ANIMAL LOVERS-I HOPE THEY DON;T HAVE ANY PETS OR CHILDREN AS THEN THEY MAY HAVE ACTED DIFFERENTLY IF THEY THOUGHT ABOUT SOMEONE TREATING THEIR PET OR CHILD………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Jenny said:
    November 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Cops/Depts always have fantastic excuses cooked up and ready to use to cover their asses on why they did or did not do something. On top of it-its the taxpayer, NOT the PD or officer who pays the price. Watch the number of stupid acts like this drop to near zero if the officer or the dept had to pay….and why was animal control not called?
    SICKO: “nice [shot]“

    steve said:
    November 28, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    This is just one more example of how far off the edge law enforcement has gone. If I had shot and killed this beautiful animal I would now be in prison, (can you say Pasado laws), this is serious cruelty to an animal. Why are things so different for cops? Law enforcement has gone off the deep end. I believe we are truly living in a new "wild west" where "law enforcement" can do or kill whoever or whatever they want and in most cases there is no questions asked. These officers should be fired. Especially the one who is heard as saying "nice". Did the officers say the dog had a gun or knife? I don't think so. I do think that if a cop tazed me I'd be mad also. People give law enforcement too much leeway. I feel cops should not be looked at differently than other citizens. If they kill without verified "threat of violent force against them" they should be treated the same as any other citizen. The one thing that so many people forget is that law enforcement officers are just fellow citizens. Even though on average they break the laws more than others, when they are caught, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If there is no eminent threat to their lives they should not be shooting any thing with their guns. The sad part is I'm not even an animal lover, but this story makes me sick. I hope the these officers are fired and prosecuted.

    Kate said:
    November 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Shoot a "barking" dog ?? Yep , it sure was a threat ! It was probably scared , then it's faced with 2 strangers ( the police ) , yes , it's going to bark . And this is justified behaviour by our police ? They carry teddy bears for kids , why couldn't they have dog treats to try to coerce the dog back into it's yard ?? It's not justified for the police to shoot a scared animal in any circumstance !

    max said:
    November 30, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    there was a cop that when in and bought a 100 dollars wroth of socks and boots for a homeless man on a really cold night. so for the two jerk that shot the dog poor dog there was a good cop that did some thing good.

    BFornberg said:
    November 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I wish the ratio actually _was_ two-to-one, Max.

    Karen said:
    December 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    These cops who are using pet dogs for their thrill kills are sickos and should be drummed off the police force, but they probably will get a promotion. They are told to kill all pet dogs, and they do. Glad that once in a while we hear a story about a good cop. But if a police dog gets killed, OMG is there a huge too doo about it?!! Parades in full dress uniforms, treated as the highest caliber hero and given a 21 gun salute and funeral of the highest honors from police from all around the country.

    woody said:
    February 21, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Temperament

    The Newfoundland has an excellent temperament, and is loyal, loving, brave and devoted. This breed is very attached to his owner and very protective, but will resort to warning off danger rather than launching in to an attack. The Newfoundland is excellent with children and good with other household pets. The temperament of the Newfoundland has been described as sweet, calm and gentle, making them ideal family pets. These dogs love to play and swim, and adore company and attention. They can prove a little difficult to train as they do have a very independent streak, but they do respond well to tone of voice so shouting is unnecessary during training, and in fact a calmer approach is recommended.

    sher said:
    February 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Information on Newfoundlands……………………Bless Rosie :)
    http://www.google.com/search?q=newfoundlands+beha

    sher said:
    February 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    u-tube video. this is just surely sick!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H2icH9SIZQ

    sher said:
    February 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Don't forget to sign this petition in honor of Rosie!
    http://www.causes.com/actions/1703250-justice-for

    Will police officers come to your house over a crying child report and then shoot them? What is the difference?

    sher said:
    February 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    I would like to thank Q13 FOX news for keeping this issue going. Last night I was watching your station at 5pm. All segments were coming in just fine. Then when the segment of Rosie came on, it black out on and off. I was unable to see them complete segment. After the blacking out of that segment, all other segments were fine. Department of justice? Control?

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