DC Police Shoot Family Dog During False Alarm

11:10 PM, Jul 16, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Burglar alarms are meant to protect the family. But what about the family pet?

Police shot a 9-year-old Border Collie, Gidget, twice. It happened last Saturday in the Chevy Chase neighborhood. Officers responded to a burglar alarm, accidently triggered by a house guest.

Gidget's owners Gary Tavenner and his mother Linda, say the bullets hit their dog's leg and bladder.

Linda says the alarm company called her cell phone. When she called back, she told them it was a false alarm. She wanted the police called off, because she was worried about her dog.

"They asked me if I wanted them to stop the police, and I said yes, because they'll kill my dog," she says.

Commander Matthew Klein says the officers may have arrived before that message got through.

"When he entered the back lot, he encountered a dog that was running towards him. The dog was acting in an aggressive manner by firing two shots at the dog," Klein says.

Linda and Gary say they believe Gidget may have been running away from the officer when she was shot.

"We can't prove anything, but from the shots, it looks like she was going back into it, not out of the basement," Linda said.

The entire incident is being investigated. The officer that shot Gidget is still on duty.

Gary and Linda are focusing on Gidget, and the hospital bill.

"Right now, the bill is topping $19,000," Gary said.

The District's Department of Risk Management is considering paying the bill.

Gary and Linda doesn't want something like this to happen to anyone else's pet. They are encouraging others to contact their alarm company and let them know about pets in home. That way police can be notified in the event of an emergency.

Written by Lindsey Mastis
9News Now & wusa9.com

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