Caution: The above video contains graphic footage.
A video of a Minneapolis police officer shooting two dogs has gone viral today. According to the Star Tribune, the officer was responding to a burglary call when he came into contact with the two dogs.
The woman who owns the dogs, Jennifer LeMay, was understandably upset. She has owned the dogs since they were puppies. Both dogs are “physician-prescribed emotional support animals for LeMay’s two sons, who suffer from severe anxiety.”
The two Staffordshire terriers are alive, but she is facing steep medical bills for vet care and surgeries for both pets.
The incident occurred around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday night. The officer arrived at the home after one of LeMay’s daughter’s accidentally triggered the house alarm. The officer, whose name has not been released, was caught on video by a camera set up in the family’s backyard.
As you can see in the video above, the police officer is checking things out in the backyard of a home. He has his gun drawn as he is backing out of the property, being followed by the family’s dogs. The dogs do not appear aggressive and are seen wagging their tails. Neither dog gets very close to the officer, but both were shot.
“Ciroc, a white and brown dog, trots toward the officer and stops about 10 feet away. The dog looks distracted but does not appear to be charging the officer. The officer fires, the dog falls and then scrambles to his feet and runs away. At the same time, a black dog runs into camera range. The officer shoots several times and the dog flees.”
Ciroc was shot in the jaw while the other dog, Rocko, suffered wounds on his side, face, and shoulder. Ciroc needs surgery that could cost well over $5,000. Both dogs are said to be resting at home.
Minneapolis police are currently investigating the case.
“We are aware of the recent incident involving MPD officers responding to an audible residential burglary alarm and while at this call an MPD officer discharged their firearm, striking two dogs belonging to the homeowner. Anytime an officer discharges their firearm in the line of duty there is an investigation. We are in the process of reviewing the video posted online, as well as the officer’s body camera video,” police spokesman Corey Schmidt said in a statement.
In a follow-up by the Star Tribune, it was reported that a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the LeMay family cope with vet bills. So far, people have donated more than $19,000.