A two-year-old American Bulldog is dead tonight because a Miami-Dade police officer walked into a home, pulled out his service weapon, and shot and killed the family’s dog. WSVN is reporting that officers arrived at the home of Liznet Vila and Adrian Garcia wanting to serve a warrant on someone they believed lived at that address. Garcia says Charlie, Ms. Vila’s beloved pet, was inside the home, and children were playing in the front yard when officers arrived.
According to Mr. Garcia, his mother was also home at that time. Vila said the detectives showed a picture of a black male with dreadlocks to her mother-in-law, but she did not recognize him. When the officers approached the door, Mr. Garcia’s mother told the officers, “there’s a dog inside. Step out so I can lock him up.” But, said Garcia’s mother, “they just proceeded in. That’s when the dog came in around this way and growled at the cops, and they decided to pull their guns out and shoot him.”
Ms. Vila reported that nobody in the family knew the man, and no such person lived at that address, exactly what her mother-in-law told the officers before they entered the residence. Vila said the detectives “didn’t even have a warrant.” The family has been living in the home for six months. They have a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign posted on the front fence. The family had no issue with the officers entering the residence, however, like many dog owners in these precarious times, they wanted to tie up their dog first. But they never got that opportunity. Charlie was shot in the neck, bled all over the floor, and died. Vila was asleep when she heard the shot, and only had time to cradle her dog in her arms while his life slipped away. His owners are left with no answers.
Miami-Dade Police have not released any further information as to who they were looking for or why events unfolded the way they did. According to WSVN, police said something occurred to cause one of their officers to fire his weapon. A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade police stated that the shooting will be investigated by Internal Affairs officers. The spokesperson also stated, “One thing is certain, no officer wants to shoot and kill someone’s animal.”
The Puppycide Database Project, launched two years ago, would certainly find cause to dispute that statement. ThePuppycide Database Project is an ongoing, comprehensive record of every killing of a pet by police in the United States. According to their findings, over 20 percent of the time that a police officer opens fire on an animal, there is a child in the immediate area or line of fire. They have recorded thousands of acts of lethal force used against familypets by police departments across the country.