Family sues police officer who killed their dog - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family sues police officer who killed their dog

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Grizzly the dog was shot multiple times last February in his fenced yard as San Diego police investigated a stolen truck case.

Grizzly was a seven-year-old Siberian husky pit mix and his owner Alfredo Fuentes said the family is still grieving his death and is demanding accountability. 

The Fuentes family filed a federal lawsuit against the City of San Diego, the police department and officer Robert Meiselmen.

On February 22nd, officer Robert Meislemen was investigating reports of an assault and stolen car in City Heights when he went to the Fuentes' home looking for witnesses.

According to the officer, he entered the yard when a gate locked behind him. It was at the moment when Grizzly lunged for him so he shot the dog in self-defense, according to the officer.

The lawsuit claims the Fuentes' civil rights were violated and demands better training. The family is seeking $500,000, which would be donated to animal rights charities

The family said ultimately it's not money they want but rather better training for officers when it comes to how they interact with dogs.

The San Diego Police Department issued a statement that said it cannot comment on pending litigation. However, the department did say:

"The San Diego Police Department provides training to all of its Police Officer's on de-escalating encounters with animals, specifically dogs. Per Department policy, officers have the authority to use their firearm if they reasonably believe an animal poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to them or another person."

The attorney's are part of the non-profit Expand Animal Rights Now. The firm has won cases in Los Angeles County where a police department underwent more training encountering dogs on duty.

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