Society

Cop Kills Veteran's Service Dog, Issues Two Citations (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Police in Augusta, Kansas, shot and killed a service dog that belonged to Alan Fitzgerald, an Army veteran who has PTSD, on April 13 (videos below).

Fitzgerald's German shepherd, Midnite, had gotten outside, and was hovering near a small dog at a mobile home several homes down from Fitzgerald's mobile home, reports KSNW.

"It’s how he plays," Fitzgerald stated.

Fitzgerald recalled that the small dog's owner said his dog was not injured, but was "shaken up."

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Fitzgerald went back to his mobile home, and was in the bathroom when he heard gunshots and Midnite barking.

Fitzgerald recalled finding the police officer outside with a gun drawn:

I got halfway out the door, and about right here where this crack is, there’s an officer standing with his gun pointed at me. I said, "What are you guys doing here, why did you kill my dog?" He said, "Get on the ground." I said, "I’m not gonna get on the ground so I went inside and slammed the door."

"We had someone call yesterday complaining about a dog attacking their dog on their property," Augusta Police Chief Tyler Brewer said, reports The Daily Haze.

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According to Brewer, an animal control officer and a police officer went to Fitzgerald’s home and found the front door was open, but a glass door was closed.

Midnite charged the glass door twice, and broke it a second time, causing the frightened animal control officer to fall off the porch, according to Brewer.

Brewer said that's when the police officer shot the dog: "He felt like his life was in danger. The officer didn’t have time to think about deploying anything like a Taser."

Fitzgerald showed the news station an ADA card as verification for Midnite’s service dog certification.

Brewer said his office had not found such documentation: "We cant find any paperwork or indication that the dog is actually a service dog. We’re looking into that."

The Family Dog Training and Behavioral Center confirmed to KAKE that Midnite had been trained there, and passed all of his tests without aggression. A trainer at the center said it was not unusual for a German shepherd to protect its home.

After Midnite was shot and killed, Fitzgerald went back into his mobile home and shut the door. He said the police walked around the outside of his home with guns drawn.

Capt. Bruce Relph was on the scene and called Fitzgerald, who told Relph he would not come out unless the officers put their guns in their holsters and left his property. Fitzgerald eventually came out of his home, and spoke to Relph.

Witnesses to the dog shooting said a police officer beat on Fitzgerald's glass door, opened the door and entered Fitzgerald’s mobile home without a warrant or permission.

According to witnesses, that when the officer first encountered the dog, which he kicked and used a baton on.

After entering the mobile home without permission and attacking the dog, the officers came outside and the officer killed Midnite, according to witnesses.

The witnesses identified the shooter as Officer Devon Keith, but the State of Kansas and the Augusta Police Department have not identified the officer, which is standard procedure.

One day after his dog was killed, April 14, Fitzgerald was issued two citations; one for was "vicious animal at large," and for the dog "attacking" the cop.

Sources: KSNW, The Daily Haze, KAKE / Photo credit: Charles Willgren/Flickr, Alan Fitzgerald via The Daily Haze

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