City of Colorado Springs / Police / News

Police shooting of an Aggressive Animal
Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Press Release: 1308-18

Friday, August 30, 2013 6:05 PM [RELEASE AT WILL]

On 08/30/2013 at approximately 0320 am, two uniformed Colorado Springs Police Department officers were looking for suspects who had been breaking into cars.  As the officers were driving in a fully marked police car in the 1100 block of Sandpiper Drive they encountered a male lying on the ground.  The male, later identified as the owner of the dog was on his back with his feet up on the west curb.  He was laying outstretched so that his legs, back and head were on the blacktop of the road. 

As an officer approached to check the male’s welfare, the officer verbally identified themselves.  They stated “Police” and requested the male show his hands.  The male stood up and staggered towards the middle of the street. The male was noticeably intoxicated. The second officer noticed a large dog running towards the first officer.  The first officer asked the male several times “Is this your dog?”, as they backed away from the rushing animal.  The dog was charging aggressively, barking and growling.  The dog moved forward from a distance of fifteen feet to within five feet of the officer.  The officer fired a total of four shots at the dog.  The dog succumbed to the injuries.

Officers were contacted by a female due to a ricochet that had entered the window of a home.  The female was identified as the wife of the male who was lying in the street.  At the time of the incident the dog’s owners were not cited pending conclusion of the investigation.

When officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department make the difficult decision to use a firearm in order to protect themselves from an animal attack, they are guided by General Orders and Operating Policies.  General Order 720 states in partial that “Officers may use deadly force only to protect themselves or others from what the officers reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury”.   “The killing of an animal is justified to prevent substantial harm to the officer or another person, or when the animal is so badly injured that humanity requires its relief from further suffering.”

Colorado Springs Municipal code, 6-7-107, Duty to restrain states:

“It shall be the duty of any owner or keeper of any dog or hoofed animal to restrain the dog or hoofed animal by means of confinement, collar and leash, or bridle from running at large upon any public place in the city, and to prevent the dog or hoofed animal from becoming a danger to persons or property, or from trespassing upon the property of another.  The animal is hereby declared a nuisance and may be taken up and impounded or confined, as provided in article 10 of this chapter. 

It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper to allow any dog, cat or hoofed animal to trespass on another’s property or to run at large”.   

6-8-107. Dangerous Animals states:

Prohibited:  No person who owns, keeps or exercises control over any animal shall allow the animal to do the following:

“To attack or threaten to attack or bite any person or domestic animal not on the premises of the owner or keeper”.

If anyone has information about this case please call (719) 444-7000; or you may call Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers, Inc. at (719) 634-STOP (7867); you do not have to give your name and could earn a cash reward.

NOTE TO MEDIA: All updates will ONLY come from the Public Affairs Unit when available.