A 2-year-old German shepherd had to be euthanized after it was shot by a police officer visiting a family to get more information about their then-missing 14-year-old son.
A female officer told the El Monte family she shot their canine for fear she would be bitten. Surveillance cameras installed at the home captured the front-yard ordeal last week.
Two officers are seen opening a closed gate, with a sign on front warning of a dog, and walking to the front door.
Seconds later, the family’s pit bull appears playful with the male officer as the cop steps outside the gate. The sound of the closing gate appears to alert the family’s 2-year-old German shepherd named Kiki.
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Kiki runs to the front door where the female officer pulls out her gun and fires a shot.
“She said I shot the dog because I was protecting myself from getting bit,” dog owner Winston Nguyen told NBC4 on Saturday.
The German shepherd ran to the backyard, where the family says she lay for nearly an hour before an animal control officer arrived.
Kiki was taken to the veterinarian. Surgery to save her would have cost the family up to $8,000 – a bill too expensive for them to foot. The 2-year-old pup was euthanized.
Chi Nguyen said the officers chided him for not posting a “Beware of Dog” sign, though they had one clearly posted on the front gate through which the police entered, pictured below.
Before the officers arrived, Nguyen said he asked police to call ahead so he could lock up the dogs in the backyard.
The officers were visiting the family to retrieve a photo of missing 14-year-old Louis Nguyen. The teenager was later found staying with a friend.
Questions regarding the shooting are being directed to an outside public relations agency that has worked with the city for several years.