Animal police shooting gets national attention

CARLSBAD, N.M (KRQE) – A Carlsbad woman who just lost her son to a police shooting says officers executed her dog this week.

Police say they had no choice, but the shooting is prompting a national organization to get involved.

“Bam. They shot him right in front of my face, right in front of me,” said Tracy Kirkpatrick.

Tracy Kirkpatrick says she watched Carlsbad police kill her dog just a month after officers gunned down her son, Troy Kirkpatrick.

“They came towards the dogs. To me it looked like an execution,” she said.

According to the police report, last weekend officers were called out to an area near the Carlsbad dam because of a fight.

When they arrived they say Kirkpatrick’s two dogs aggressively approached them.

They say one backed off, the other, a yellow-lab, exposed its teeth and started growling at officers.

“The officer felt like he was fixing to be attacked by the dog so he shot the dog,” said Carlsbad Police Captain Jon Moyers.

The dog died instantly.

“I was praying to God it wasn’t true,” said Kirkpatrick. “It was some kind of hoax.”

Now, the case is getting some national attention.

The National Canine Research Council is stepping in and doing what they can to make sure another animal isn’t killed.

“There are a lot of awesome alternatives to lethal force and many of those alternatives are quite simply learned it’s just a matter of getting the info out,” said NCRC Communications Director Janise Bradley.

The council offers free training to police departments all over the country on how to deal with potentially threatening dogs.

This week they sent Carlsbad police a free training video in hopes they take note.

Kirkpatrick hopes so too.

“They’re here to serve and protect. Their badge means a lot and they had no reason to do what they did,” said Kirkpatrick.

Carlsbad police say they’re interested in the training.

The video was created by the U.S. Department of Justice and Safe Humane.

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