Horizon City, TX — Disturbing body camera footage was released this week showing El Paso County sheriff’s deputies lure a dog out of a fenced in backyard and then fatally shoot it seven times. The dog’s owners now want answers.
According to police, they were called to the neighborhood that day on reports of an aggressive dog roaming the neighborhood. However, Zeus, the mastiff they killed, was not that dog, according to neighbors and the dog’s owners.
Billy Lopez and Eliza Silva are Zeus’ owners. They were not at home when police came to their backyard with a can of dog food and guns and said that Zeus was killed by mistake.
— KFOX14 News (@KFOX14) May 17, 2017
The video begins as deputies and animal control are leaning over the fence trying to lure the dog out of the yard and over to them. At this point, the dog was in its own backyard, entirely not aggressive, and not a threat to anyone. However, police would make sure to change that scenario.
The video then cuts off and starts again once Zeus is out of the yard. How he got out is a mystery. Clearly becoming agitated by the officer continuing to provoke him, and after being lured out of his own year, Zeus had enough and came toward the deputy.
Six shots were fired from the deputies gun, causing Zeus to fall down and then the seventh one to end his life permanently.
“They went from step one to step five. He charged them because they were following him. Why were they trying to bother him and get him to come back out of my yard?” Lopez asked.
Aside from the release of the body camera footage, the El Paso sheriff’s department is remaining tight-lipped about this incident.
In the land of the free, police can come onto your private property, lure your dog out of its own fenced in yard, gun him down in broad daylight, and this is called ‘standard procedure.’ Well, it’s a damn good thing that postal workers, delivery truck drivers, pizza delivery drivers — and all the other jobs that require people to go to someone’s home and NOT KILL THEIR DOG — don’t claim the same rights as cops, or family pets would probably be extinct.
Sadly, this trend shows no signs of slowing.
The Department of Justice estimates that at least 25 dogs are killed by police every day.
The Puppycide Database Project estimates the number of dogs being killed by police to be closer to 500 dogs a day (which translates to 182,000 dogs a year).
Because not all police departments keep track of canine shootings, these numbers vary widely. However, whatever the final body count, what we’re dealing with is an epidemic of vast proportions.
Incredibly, in 1 out of 5 cases involving police shooting a family pet, a child was either in the police line of fire or in the immediate area of a shooting.
The so-called “dangerous” breeds of dogs aren’t the only ones that are being killed in encounters with police either.
Journalist Radley Balko has documented countless “dog shootings in which a police officer said he felt ‘threatened’ and had no choice but to use lethal force, including the killing of a Dalmatian (more than once), a yellow Lab , a springer spaniel, a chocolate Lab, a boxer, an Australian cattle dog, a Wheaten terrier, an Akita… a Jack Russell terrier… a 12-pound miniature dachshund… [and] a five-pound chihuahua.”
To those that think cops killing dogs is not a problem, we encourage you to watch the video below and then take a look through our puppycide archives here.