Bozeman Police Department Explains Thursday's Dog Shooting - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bozeman Police Department Explains Thursday's Dog Shooting

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BOZEMAN -

The Bozeman Police Department is speaking out about why an officer shot a dog Thursday at Pete's Hill in Bozeman.

Thursday morning Bozeman police were called to a trespassing complaint where someone set up camp at Pete's Hill.

The Bozeman Police Department tells us two officers on the scene heard a dog barking behind willow trees before they saw the dog running toward them.

One officer shot the dog twice.

They say it could've been a lot worse.

 "I'm glad two police officers walked into those willows rather than two children that could've walked into those willows," said Dave McManis, Bozeman Police Captain.

The Bozeman Police Department is investigating the shooting, which is standard protocol after any officer fires a weapon.

The dog was taken to veterinarian where it was determined it would be paralyzed from the gunshot wound.  The owner decided to have the dog euthanized.

The chief issued a message Friday evening addressing concerns over the shooting. It is posted below.

Every time that a firearm is used or there is a use of police force, a review and evaluation is conducted. No one wants force to be used in a situation where it wasn't necessary or where there were better options. In this case, the division commander will be looking at the incident, reviewing the statements of the officers and the witnesses and looking at any other evidence or information that is available. That information will be presented to me with his findings along with any recommendations that are appropriate for this or future situations like this.

The Bozeman Police Department handles over 2,000 animal complaints a year and countless more calls where dogs are present. Every officer has handled many interactions with dogs...everything from barking complaints to distressed dogs left in vehicles, to reports of vicious/aggressive animals. I am very comfortable with their overall level of training and experience.

As a former K9 handler of more than ten years, I certainly recognize the bond between dogs and their owners. I would not wish the heartache of losing a partner on anyone. I also recognize that officers are sometimes placed into situations where many choices are removed from them by the very nature of the circumstances. I do not know if that was the case here and it is important that I reserve that judgment until I can review the incident after it has been fully investigated.

Ron Price, Chief of Police

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