A family in Northern New Jersey is very distressed, and rightly so. Their beloved German Shepherd dog was shot to death by the police, who went to the wrong address in investigating a burglary. The dog was shot multiple times by a Wyckoff, New Jersey, police officer and died on Wednesday during a burglary call when the officer went to the wrong address, according to the Examiner.
According to Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox, a burglary call came into the station for 621 Lawlins Road. Unfortunately, Officer Kyle Ferreira mistakenly went to 622 Lawlins Road. He investigated the property looking for signs of an intruder, finding no one home after no one answered at the front door.
Ferreira entered the backyard through an unlocked gate, and saw an open rear window through which the officer thought a burglar could have gained entry. At the time he drew his gun, the family’s German Shepherd Otto jumped out of the window and held the officer by his boot. Two of the four shots the officer fired hit Otto.
What’s even more horrific is that neighbors allegedly told the officer that he was at the wrong house, according to the Examiner. This is disputed by the police.
Apparently, the owners left the window open so that Otto had access to the outdoors, according to New Jersey. Officer Ferreira was uninjured. It’s not clear whether the officer will face any disciplinary action.
According to New Jersey 101.5, the dog’s owner, Igor Vukobratovic, who had Otto for five years and who was in shock, said the following. He had returned home from the mall with relatives to find police at his home.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. There was blood everywhere. He was a protective dog, but there were never any incidents of him attacking anyone. He was my best friend.”
Of course, the family is broken up about the loss of their beloved canine companion. Zana Vukobratovic, Otto’s owner, also said the following according to CBS Channel 2 New York.
“We loved him so, so much.”
A neighbor also indicated that Otto was not an aggressive dog. In fact, Otto was called the “Gentleman” because he was a nice dog. Neightbor Chip Tamer stated the following, according to CBS Channel 2 New York.
“If the town cannot get this straight on a simple call to the house, how can they handle an emergency when something really occurs.”
Chris Scala, Igor’s best friend, said that Otto he had an intimidating bark, but was never aggressive, and indicated that, if Ferreira had knocked or rang the bell, he would have heard Otto, Igor’s father Goran said, according to New Jersey.
“The dog would bark like crazy,” he said.
Vukobratovic said that he hugged his wounded pal and put him on a blanket to be taken to the veterinarian. Wyckoff animal control took Otto to an Oradell Animal Hospital for veterinary care, but Otto died from the wounds to his back and chest.
With all the media attention, Police Chief Benjamin Fox said the following, standing up for his officer, indicating that Ferreira had the right to defend himself against a potential burglar or a dog, according to New Jersey. He also indicated that eye witnesses that contradict the officer’s version don’t exist, but he sent officers to investigate neighbors to get any accounts that could be gathered.
“He [Ferreira] has every right to be prepared to defend himself. Is a burglary suspect going to come out of that window?…That dog can do a lot of physical damage to a person if the next bite is an artery….I don’t believe they [eyewitnesses that contradict the officer’s account] exist. I believe this is social media and people sitting behind typewriters just making up stories. But I felt an obligation to uncover anybody who’s supposedly an eye witness.”
Ferreira has not been disciplined, Fox said, and is “extremely distraught.”
Another tragic loss of a beloved canine companion occurred in Denmark, which also led to his devastated owner committing suicide. A man in Denmark named Dan was so devastated when authorities confiscated his dog that he committed suicide. What did the dog do wrong? Nothing but exist as perhaps a pit bull or pit bull mix. Many breeds are, unfortunately, banned in Denmark. Because of breed-specific legislation, authorities took his dog named Zanto. Under that country’s law, Dan had eight days to prove that the dog was not a prohibited breed. When Dan could not prove that his dog was not a prohibited breed, Zanto was confiscated and euthanized, according to an article in the Inquisitr. Such a tragedy and unnecessary loss of two lives.
Do you think any actions should be taken against the police in this case? Could the officer have subdued the dog without killing him? Please leave your comments below.
[Photo courtesy of Igor Vukobratovic]