When the Mann family returned home after Labor Day festivities, they were shocked to find a note on their door explaining that their dog had been shot by police.
Kenya, a 4-year old German Shepherd/Labrador mix had somehow managed to escape her South Carolina yard on Labor Day. Despite having installed both a traditional chain link fence and an electric fence, Kenya has been known to escape the yard from time to time.
“She’s probably gotten out about three or four times and usually a neighbor comes by [and says] ‘Hey, your dog’s in my yard,’ and we go get her,” Kenya’s owner Jared Mann told WSITV NewsChannel 10. “It’s never been a big deal.”
On Labor Day, while her family was away, Kenya again escaped. Irmo Police responded to a call from a jogger in the neighborhood who claimed to have been chased by the dog. When they arrived, Kenya was back at home, laying by the steps to her front door.
Police said that when one of the officers approached the front door to find Kenya’s owners, the dog charged him. Feeling threatened by the dog’s actions, the officer fired several shots at Kenya.
Several neighbors, after hearing the gunshots, came to the Mann residence to see what was happening. “My husband and me were both talking to the police officers that were here,” one neighbor told reporters. “And the one who shot the dog said that she had charged him. But we had seen that dog before in our backyard and she’s never shown any aggression ever.”
Another neighbor told reporters that Kenya was still breathing and moving about 30 minutes after being shot several times. The concerned neighbor asked police if she could take the dog to a veterinarian for help, but police said no. Instead, they covered Kenya with a tarp and let her suffer and die in her front yard.
Irmo Police Chief, Brian Buck, said the officer acted in self-defense. In Irmo, it is illegal for any domestic animal to run at large on the streets or in public places. However, at the time of the shooting, Kenya was on her own property.
The Mann family and their neighbors are upset and confused as to why Kenya had to die, why she wasn’t allowed to receive medical care, and why the officer chose to draw his gun instead of using a taser or pepper spray first.
How do you believe this and other police/animal encounters should be handled? While it is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure their dogs are properly contained, or kept indoors, do you feel the officer acted appropriately? Weigh-in with a comment below!