Dog fatally shot during stolen car investigation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dog fatally shot during stolen car investigation

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A dog is dead after being shot by police during the investigation of a stolen car.

Police interviewed the stolen car victim and went to other homes in the neighborhood looking for witnesses at about 12:30 a.m. Monday in the 4200 block of Thorn Street in City Heights.

The dog was shot as the officer entered the gated yard of a neighbor who may have been a witness.

"The officer didn't even know there was a dog in the yard.  Officers had been around that yard while they were investigating the crime.  It came as a total shock." Lt. Christian Sharp with the San Diego Police Department.

The officer was not hurt. 

The dog that was fatally shot is one of nearly sixty dogs over the past five years throughout the county that was either killed or injured in an officer or deputy-related shooting. 

The officer in Monday's case said he had no choice, but the heartbroken owner said there was no need to choose lethal force in that situation. 

Seven-year-old, Grizzly, was part of Alfredo Fuentes' family.  

"I am angry. The officer shot part of my family. Grizzly is Grizzly Fuentes," said Fuentes. 

Despite the three posted "beware of dog" signs on the front fence, the officer entered the front gate, but Fuentes refutes that his dog would have charged the officer. 

Fuentes said that Grizzly did not immediately die from the gun shots. Fuentes said he pleaded with the officers on the scene to try to get his dog help. 

A lieutenant on the scene told Fuentes that help was on its way, but according to Fuentes help never arrived. 

Grizzly died in the back of a laundry room about 30 minutes after being shot. Hours after his death, animal control arrived. 

Fuentes is heartbroken and outraged. He wants to know why the officer decided to use his gun instead of pepper spray, a tazer or some other non-lethal force. 

"He could have kicked the dog away, not shoot him four times," he said. 

The San Diego Police Department offers training to its officers in how to deal with canines on the job. It's a program initiated by the Department of Justice that began in September of 2014. 

The state also offers a similar course. It's unknown whether the officer in Monday's case took either of those courses. 

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