SALT LAKE CITY – During a search for a 3-year-old boy on Wednesday, police shot and killed a neighbor’s dog.
At around 4:30 p.m., police reported that a 3-year-old named Kelby was missing from his home near 2500 South and Fillmore Street. A door-to-door search of the neighborhood ensued.
Barely half an hour later the young boy was found, safe and asleep in the basement of his home.
In that brief time span, however, an officer entered neighbor Sean Kendall’s yard – which, given that the situation was an emergency, the officer was legally allowed to do.
Feeling that Kendall’s dog, Geist, was aggressive, the officer shot the 110-pound Weimaraner.
Kendall, however, has remarked that contrary to the officer’s claim, Geist had never been aggressive toward anybody. He said that he believes the dog simply “came out of the dog kennel to see what was going on, who was here…and those were his last moments.
“He was a member of my family,” Kendall added about the dog, who he called his hiking buddy, sleeping partner and best friend.
“He was just goofy and funny and he loved to play. He was a big cuddler, a big cuddler, and now he’s gone,” Kendall added.
Kendall, noting that the dog had a single gunshot wound to the head, said that he feels traumatized in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Now he’s dead,” he said. “I have him wrapped up in a blanket in the back of my truck, and now I have to go bury him.”
Another of Kendall’s neighbors, Marsha Stemer, has said that she heard two gunshots and that she saw the officer leave Kendall’s yard.
The Salt Lake Police Department has confirmed that an officer did go into Kendall’s backyard during the search for the toddler. Although they are still investigating the incident, they have said that the officer shot the dog because he felt that the dog was going to attack him.