SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Thousands are pressing police for answers, after a Salt Lake officer shot and killed someone’s pet.
"Geist was my best friend. He was a member of my family. There will always be this giant hole in my life where he's no longer a part of it," said Sean Kendall, who came home to find his dog lying in a puddle of blood. "Nobody needs to get a phone call at work, explaining that their dog was—in my mind—murdered for no reason," he said.
"An officer went around back to check the back yard to see if the toddler had gotten into the back yard. That's when he encountered this dog and felt threatened, and shot the dog," said Sgt. Robin Heiden, with the Salt Lake Police Dept.
Since then, the story has exploded all over social media. People want justice for the dead Weimaraner. In just a day and a half, more than 5,000 have shown their support on facebook.
"This whole state is dog lovers—we all are," said Heiden.
"I am just piecing things together,” said Haley Bowen,
"Right here is where Geist was shot,” said Bowen, pointing to a grassy area about 20 feet away from the gate. “There’s still some blood on my grass," she said.
Bowen says she still has a lot of questions for Salt Lake Police.
"If you feel like a dog would be aggressive, wouldn't you want to back out of the yard, before you naturally reach for your gun? It's a common sense thing," she said.
Experts agree. The Humane Society of Utah has already offered to train officers on less lethal ways of handling animals.
"…batons, tasers, clipboards, physical force…" listed Carl Arky, Communications Director for the Humane Society of Utah.
In the meantime,