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Six years ago, a little brown dog showed up at the Topeka, Kansas doorstep of Harriette and Jim Macnish. Unable to locate an owner for the Miniature Pinscher mix, the Macnish’s gave her the wonderful, loving home she deserved.
“She was the perfect dog,” Harriette told WIBW.
Josie, as they named her, quickly became a part of the Macnish family. Harriette describes her as the friendliest creature you’ve ever met.
That’s why the family is so confused, shaken, and devastated that their four-legged family member is dead, shot twice by a Topeka Police Officer in her own backyard.
In July, an officer arrived at the Macnish home, responding to a home alarm. Harriette and Josie were home at the time, unaware that the alarm had been triggered. Officer Michael Cruse walked around to the rear of the home looking for evidence of a break-in when Harriette’s daughter called to let her mother know the alarm had been activated and police were arriving at the home.
“I went and looked in the front yard and saw a police car. I came back around and he was bent down. Josie was running toward him. It was her yard and she didn’t know him. And he shot her twice and killed her.”
In his report, Officer Cruse described Josie as threatening, running toward him barking and growling in an aggressive manner. He shot the 26-pound dog twice with his police issued gun, ending what he described as an “imminent attack.”
Update: This isn’t the first time Officer Cruse has been responsible for the unnecessary death of an innocent being. In 2002, the officer (once again responding to a false alarm) ran his police cruiser through a stop sign, striking and killing a 61-year old man. Cruse was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to a year in jail. He served 30 days of his sentence. 8-months after he was released, and while still serving probation for his crimes, he was rehired by the Topeka Police Department.
Topeka police Deputy Chief Brian Desch told WIBW that officers went through two hours of dog encounter training in 2012. The Topeka Police Department has planned a refresher course this year.