“He was wagging his tail. My dog wasn’t even moving, lunging toward him or anything.” Jennifer LeMay told the Minneapolis Star Tribune about her Staffordshire Terrier, Ciroc.
She is referring to an incident this weekend at her Minneapolis home where Ciroc and his four-legged companion, Rocko were shot and severely injured.
Ciroc and Rocko are emotional support dogs for LeMay’s sons who suffer from severe anxiety. So who would discharge a weapon on two dogs that weren’t aggressive or challenging them? And why? A cop.
We mostly talk about cops rescuing dogs, but sometimes, unfortunately, police officers do end up shooting dogs, but usually only as a last resort and if the animal threatens them.
“My dogs were doing their job on my property. We have a right to be safe in our yard,” LeMay further said on Sunday.
The identity of the officer who was initially on the property responding to a burglary call hasn’t been revealed, nor has the reason why he shot the dogs.
LeMay was camping with relatives in Wisconsin and left Ciroc and Rocko in a friend’s care. Her daughter came home and triggered the alarm, which also alerted the Minneapolis PD. The police arrived approximately 20 minutes after LeMay called the security company to deactivate the alarm.
Surveillance from the LeMay’s home shows the officer in their yard walking backward with his pistol drawn. Ciroc is heading toward him wagging his tail. The dog is shot at point-blank range.
The bullet struck him in the jaw. Rocko then appears and is shot in the side, face, and shoulder. The officer then calmly hops a seven-foot wood fence and disappears.
Thankfully, both dogs survived their ordeal. The LeMay’s are now overwhelmed with veterinary bills.
Ciroc’s alone was $900. He will still need surgery that will cost upwards of $7,000. Rocko too is doing well.
A Minneapolis PD spokesman, Corey Schmidt, refused to identify the officer. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “We are aware of the recent incident involving MPD officers responding to an audible residential burglary alarm and while at this call an MPD officer discharged their firearm, striking two dogs belonging to the homeowner.”
“Anytime an officer discharges their firearm in the line of duty there is an investigation. We are in the process of reviewing the video posted online, as well as the officer’s body camera video.”
This still doesn’t answer LeMay’s question: Why? Later on Sunday, an officer from the Minneapolis PD stopped by LeMay’s home to apologize. She said about his visit. He was: “as genuine and compassionate as he could be, without overstepping his boundaries.”
It’s tough to accept an apology when your dogs are in recovery from unnecessary wounds, and you’re stuck with the financial burden of paying for their vet care.
A Go Fund Me page was set up to help the LeMay’s offset these medical expenses. Since Monday, the amount has exceeded $16,000.