A Missouri woman reported a possible burglary in her neighborhood to police one night -- only to have one of the responding officers shoot and kill her dog.
Shena Matthias, 29, called emergency dispatch on Sunday evening when her fiance reportedly witnessed a masked man attempting to enter a home near their house in Springfield, Missouri, News-Leader reports.
Responding to the call were two officers who, after some confusion with the dispatcher, accidentally went to the wrong home. The two then decided to go to Matthias’s home in order to clarify which residence they were supposed to investigate.
When they made their way past her front gate, however, her two dogs allegedly charged at the officers.
According to Matthias, officer Tom Spence took out his side arm and fired three shots at her 4-year-old Labrador retriever, Hydro.
Hydro then reportedly stumbled to the porch where he died in his owner’s arms.
“I felt the warm blood dripping on my fingers,” she told News-Leader. “I held him. I watched my dog’s eyes go gray. I know when he took his last breath.”
Matthias is seeking retribution for the death of her dog. She believes that the police officer’s actions were unnecessary.
“My dog died for no reason,” she said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
She does admit that since Hydro’s protective instincts were triggered, he might have bitten the officer. However, the officers unlocked the family’s gate without their consent. She claims that she told the dispatcher specifically that the officers should call her first before coming to her home so she could put the dogs in a separate room.
According to the officers, they never received a message regarding the dogs.
“It completely could have been avoided,” Matthias said. “That officer should have made himself known. My front door was wide open, he could have made himself known.”
Soon after the shooting, 20 squad cars surrounded her home.
“I was screaming frantically for two hours,” she said, “you probably would have called a mental institution on me. I laid my dog’s dead body just holding him and telling him I was sorry.”
She told reporters that she intends to seek a lawyer to pursue legal action against the police.
Upon hearing the story, readers took to Facebook to voice their opinions and concerns with the story.
"Seriously he was afraid of being attacked by a lab dog?" asked one user, "Wow these male cops need to women up! So sad for this families loss."
"The errors here are disturbing," wrote another, "officer given the wrong address to check on by dispatch; goes to caller's home to verify address but wasn't told by dispatch that she requested a call first, so she could secure her dogs."
Photo Credit: Wikipedia, springfieldmo.gov