A family in Hammond, Indiana is demanding answers after a police officer shot their pit bull earlier this week.
According to reports, Norma Maldonado, her five children and a young pit bull mix named Lily were playing outside in their backyard when the incident happened. Maldonado was cooking out in the yard when two of her young sons grabbed their food and began to walk towards the front of the house with Lily behind them. Suddenly, Maldonado says she heard a gunshot.
“Not even 10 seconds later we heard the gun shot and Lily screamed out,” said Maldonado. “And I just dropped what I was doing and I went running and I has still seen the officer pointing his gun."
The Hammond Police Officer who shot Lily was reportedly called to the home because someone complained of a pit bull on the loose, but as Maldonado explained to the cop as she asked why he shot the dog, there is an electric fence around the yard.
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“He said, 'because your dog was loose,’” said Maldonado. “And I said no she's not there's an electrical fence, read the sign."
Fortunately, Lily did not die, but the family did have to pay around $5,000 for her health care. Now, Maldonado is demanding that the police department take action against the officer, even though the police have so far defended his actions and stated on the police report that the dog charged towards him.
"The Hammond Police Department has determined that based upon the circumstances that the officer was justified in defending himself at the time of the incident,” said the department in a statement.
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Maldonado says that her dog never charged at the officer, as it was shot at the edge of the yard near a bush. The mother of five is angry that the officer not only shot her dog, but that he fired his weapon within range of her young children. Still, the department stands behind the officer, and now, Maldonado is consulting with a lawyer to take action against the cop and against the department. Additionally, the woman will have to go to court because, following the incident, animal control told her that electric fences are not allowed in her area.