‘Pissed off’: Dog shot and killed by Victoria Police was 1-year-old puppy, say witnesses

'Pissed off': Dog shot and killed by Victoria Police was 1-year-old puppy, say witnesses
CHEK

Two days after a dog was shot and killed by Victoria Police (VicPD) in Rock Bay, there is anger and frustration.

“I think people are really, really f****** pissed off,” Chantal Forget told CHEK News.

While arresting a man on a warrant at 3:30 a.m. Monday, a VicPD officer shot a dog outside the Cool Aid Centre along Ellice Street.

“The officer feared for their life,” according to VicPD in a statement.

Rock Bay residents, who say they witnessed the shooting and the events that led up to it, have a different story.

“The puppy was muzzled,” said John Ross.

“How can you be scared of a muzzled dog?” asked Chantal Forget.

They say the one-year-old Pitbull-mix ran out of a tent as someone was being arrested and started barking at a police dog that had been left in a police car.

“The dog didn’t lunge at them, the dog did nothing,” said Forget. “And to write that up and say that they were scared for their safety is absolutely a bull**** story they wrote.”

VicPD disagrees and says the dog was six years old and says there has been 11 other incidents involving this dog since 2021.

Watch the report below:

VicPD reiterated to CHEK News Wednesday that the dog wasn’t muzzled and had been designated a dangerous dog. They say it “lunged aggressively towards an officer” and “fearing serious injury, the officer discharged their firearm.”

Residents say the officer shot the dog twice, once in the side of the head and once in the torso.

“And that’s when we just lost it,” said Ross. “We were all f****** stepping to the cops, they were yelling, ‘Back up, back up.”

“There was a kerfuffle after because people wanted to get at the cops,” said Forget.

That same anger now quietly simmers on the street. Underlying that anger is hurt, and even more distrust for many.

“You hurt a dog, a puppy at that? Take your badge off, you’re just like one of us,” said Ross.

“Now I hate them all,” said Forget.

When asked why pepper spray or another less lethal force wasn’t used, VicPD says because the officer feared serious injury (grievous bodily harm), the threshold was met for lethal force.

“This is not a decision that is made lightly,” said police in a statement. Additionally, VicPD says OC spray or pepper spray are not always effective against dogs.

Because a firearm was discharged, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has been automatically notified. It’s up to the OPCC to decide whether to investigate or not.

CHEK News requested CCTV footage of the incident from Cool Aid and VicPD. Police declined.

“We typically only release CCTV footage or still images if there is an investigative purpose (e.g. to identify a suspect(s), etc.) and pursuant to FOIPPA legislation,” added VicPD.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said the officer who shot the dog was female based on information provided by witnesses. VicPD later clarified the officer was male. 

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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