A Des Moines couple whose dog was shot and killed by police 2 years ago is now suing the department in federal court.
On Nov. 7, 2010, Deirdre and Charles Wright’s 115-pound, 3-year-old Newfoundland dog Rosie escaped their yard while the couple was away. A neighbor called 911 just after noon to report the dog was out, but did not say it was posing a threat to anyone.
Police arrived at the Wrights home one hour later to find Rosie sitting in her owners’ driveway. Dashcam video recorded one officer saying “You live here, don’t you?”
Another said “Hate to kill him in his own yard,” according to the Wright’s lawsuit.
After 10 minutes spent trying to catch Rosie with a catchpole, the lawsuit alleges one of the officers said “I say we just shoot him, kill him. He’s going to fight like a (expletive) once he’s tased. I can try to choke him out.”
Witnesses say the dog sat in the Wrights driveway until an officer tased her, and then she ran southbound. Officers are then heard saying “Let’s just go shoot her.”
The dog then ran into a neighbor’s fully fenced yard where officers shot her 4 times with an assault rifle.
The owner of the property Rosie ran into has said “If I would of known what was going on I would of told the officers to leave. The dog could of stayed there…for days.”
Dashcam video shows that after the first shot, one of the officers shouted “Nice!”
The Wrights say police violated their civil rights.
“This is completely unacceptable and, in my opinion, was malicious,” said the Wright’s attorney Adam Karp. “We want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
But police have said Rosie snarled and lunged at them while they tried to corral the dog. The Wrights say Rosie never bit anyone and had never been declared vicious or dangerous or violated any animal control regulation.
An internal investigation cleared the officers involved of any wrong doing. The department is not commenting on this pending lawsuit.