Two pit bulls flee backyard, one left dead.
After escaping from her backyard last Thursday, Bella, a four-year-old pit bull, was shot and killed by a local Animal Control Officer. Unsuccessful in his attempts to catch her, the officer resorted to his handgun — he was not fully trained to use a tranquilizer gun.
Neighbors saw the other dog, Jaxson, captured fairly quickly and say Bella showed no signs of danger while running from the officer. Local officials feel big dogs such as Bella are capable of attack and causing harm, making her a threat.
While blame and accusations continue, the bottom line is a family lost their beloved companion forever that day. Action should take place preventing occurrences such as this from happening in the future.
Bella’s owners created a petition demanding justice for their fallen friend. Here is what Jeff Daniels, owner of Bella and Jaxson, has to say about the situation:
What was your first reaction when you came home and found out about Bella?
I’m not sure I can describe the feeling I had. I guess disbelief would be right. Bella was an ambassador to dogs everywhere, not just the APBT. Not only that, she was my six year-old’s best friend for more than four years.
When you questioned the animal control officer responsible, what was his response?
We spoke with Animal Control officers, including the one who shot and killed Bella, for almost 17 minutes.
Jeff: How long were you on the scene?
AC Officer : About 20 minutes
Jeff: Did she ever show any aggression to you in that 20 min?
AC Officer: No, she did not.
Jeff: Then why did you have to shoot and kill my dog?
AC Officer: What did you want me to do, stay there 3 hours? I have other calls to get to.
When he said that to me I almost passed out. I couldn’t, and still can’t believe he actually said that…and I have the video to prove it.
Have you questioned any of the neighbors who witnessed the shooting?
Yes, we have talked to several witnesses, including kids that were playing basketball mere yards from where a handgun was discharged in our neighborhood. We also have two eyewitness statements, from people I personally hadn’t met until that day, that also confirm that nobody could get close to Bella…the AC Officer shot her in the backside as she was RUNNING AWAY from him!
What are your hopes for this petition?
For one thing, the procedures/policies need to change. The AC Officer, in this case, was still in training to use a tranquilizer gun. That’s simply ridiculous. Both Bella and Jaxson had microchips for such an incident. If AC was equipped with some type of mobile scanner, they would have known who the owners were and how to contact us. Jaxson was in the back seat of a patrol car for most of the time this took place. AC could have simply checked for the microchip, then made a phone call to us. Also, the officers need to be held accountable for their actions. I’ve heard stories from all over the country regarding similar issues. If we don’t stop them, and stand up for what’s right, who will?
Want justice for Bella? Sign the petition!