Las Cruces, NM — It sounds innocent enough — welfare check — but in case after tragic case, “welfare” is the last thing police officers have in mind when they show up to conduct one. An innocent elderly man in Las Cruces, New Mexico learned this the hard way this week when cops showed up to “check on his welfare” and instead killed his dog…..and laughed about it.
Jo Rivas, told the Sun-News that he called 911 on Monday because his brother hadn’t been sleeping and he was worried about his mental health. He wanted an EMT but he got police instead.
“I called 911 expecting EMTs to show up,” Rivas said. Unfortunately for Rivas, gun toting dog killers showed up instead of EMTs.
Within seconds of police entering the elderly man’s yard — which reportedly had a ‘no trespassing’ sign and another sign that read ‘badass dog lives here’ — one of the officers fired three rounds.
Moments later, Rivas’ neighbor, James Dvorak, said Rivas and his brother were carrying the dog to the truck in an attempt to save its life. His dog, a large mixed breed named Stormy, did not survive.
“He always guarded his property,” Rivas said. “But anybody who walks into the yard has always been able to walk into the yard.”
Rivas told Sun News that this incident solidified his distrust in law enforcement. He asked why they wouldn’t simply call him first and ask to put the dog away. He also said that the officers were extremely rude and were actually laughing at what just happened.
“One of the cops was actually laughing,” Rivas said. “And I was so pissed at that.”
Another of Rivas’ neighbors, Sabrina Paulos, actually photographed the officers laughing. In the photo below, she says cops laughed as Rivas and his brother tried to load the dying dog in the truck.
“This photo was taken *while* the man was trying to get his dying dog into a vehicle after they shot him. It was the first photo I got of them as I walked up to the scene, and a few steps later saw the people trying to save the dog. And I’m horrified at the lack of care and compassion they had for the people they were there to help, after they showed up and shot their dog. They could have called animal control when they got there, instead they tried to tell the man he had to wait for animal control *after* they had already fired three rounds into the dog.”
Paulas said the dog was so old that it could barely walk and police had absolutely no reason to shoot it.
“It was a fat, old dog who had to be cajoled to walk around the block. And the man was well enough for the cops to just stand there and watch him struggle to get the dog into his truck to take him to a vet after they shot him,” she said.
The officers were so callous and sadistic that neighbors claimed they cracked jokes about killing the dog.
“You show up on a welfare check, you kill the person’s dog, and then you make jokes about it. That’s the exact opposite of what you were there for,” Dvorak said.
Rivas told Sun News that he is now planning to file a lawsuit to hold the officers accountable for killing their dog.
“If this guy is laughing at the fact that they killed my dog, I am going to call him out,” Rivas said.