After a Salt Lake City police officer shot and killed his dog, 27-year-old Sean Kendall says he will not be satisfied until the officer is fired.
Last week, officers were searching for a three-year-old boy reported missing by his parents, and while going door-to-door in the neighborhood, they knocked on Kendall’s door. When nobody answered, the officers walked to the backyard to check and see if they could find the boy.
As they entered the yard, the officers were approached by Kendall's dog Geist who, according to their claims, was acting aggressively. One officer apparently felt threatened and quickly pulled out his gun, opening fire on the dog.
As for the three-year-old boy that was missing, police later found him asleep in his own basement.
Kendall says he later returned home from work to find Geist dead in the yard, shot twice by the officer.
“It's almost like that image is burned into my eyes, everything from walking into my back door and seeing him lying on the grass,” Kendall explained.
On Monday, Kendall met with Salt Lake City police officials to discuss what would be done to make the situation right. After leaving the meeting, Kendall said he feels “extremely frustrated and upset” that the department is not willing to take much action against the officer.
"The only thing that I would be satisfied with is having this officer terminated," Kendall said. "I feel that his judgment was completely inappropriate."
Sgt. Greg Wilking defends the officer’s action, saying that he did what he had to do in the moment.
"There are extenuating circumstances," Wilking said. "A child is missing, and if you’re a parent, you would want us to look everywhere for your child. We wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I wasn’t in that situation. The officer did what he did in the moment to avoid being bitten, possibly.”
Kendall has yet to decide if he will pursue legal action against the department, but he does say he is angry that police see his dog as “just a piece of property, no different than a vehicle, a piece of lawn furniture."
"I’m devastated, to be honest," Kendall said. "Geist was a member of my family. At times he was the only thing, the only person, the only comfort that I had."
Salt Lake City police are investigating the incident and say they are looking into their training protocol for dealing with animals.