Cop shoots dog at dog park-Annapolis, MD

Postby TheRedQueen » August 4th, 2010, 10:06 am

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/feature ... undel.html

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August 3, 2010
Cop kills Bear-Bear at Arundel dog park: Justified?
Here's the full story of Bear-Bear that I wrote with Sun reporter Brent Jones, online now and set to appear in tomorrow's Sun, print edition. It's been getting a lot of attention online. Lots of folks appalled not only that this dog was shot in a dog park, but that police aren't going to charge the cop that shot him -- or even let the public known his name. Please share what you think:


Stunned dog owners and residents of a Severn neighborhood are shocked that authorities won’t be charging a federal police officer who shot and killed a Siberian Husky Monday night at a community dog park.

Bear-Bear, a brown and white Husky that’s about three years old, was playing in the Quail Run dog park at about 6:30 p.m., running off leash inside the fenced-in area, when the officer and his wife arrived with a German Shepherd, who was kept on a leash. When the dogs began to play roughly — the federal officer asked Bear-Bear’s guardian, his owner’s brother, to call off the dog. But before he could do anything, the officer pulled out a gun and shot Bear-Bear.



Bear-Bear, who belongs to Rachel Rettaliata, died of his injuries a few hours later.

“I’ve been bawling my eyes out since 7 p.m. last night,” Rettaliata said. “It’s grief mixed with anger. We’re so angry this guy was able to take our animal for what we feel was no reason at all.

“We still don’t believe that he’s gone. We just want so badly to be diligent about this. [The officer] has to pay some sort of consequence for his foolishness.”

A spokesman for Anne Arundel County Police Department said no charges will be filed and investigators found no evidence of criminal activity.

Rettaliata adopted Bear-Bear about two years ago from a Husky rescue. He’d been seized from a Delaware home where people had tied him up outside, largely leaving him to fend for himself in the elements.

Tiffany Greco, who fostered the young Bear-Bear and placed him with the Rettaliala family, said the Husky had led a hard-knock life, starved and neglected, with mats in his long fur the size of softballs. But even though he was mistreated, she said he never became aggressive around people or dogs.

“He was a very lovey-dovey happy go lucky guy,” Greco said, adding that Bear-Bear at least had a little taste of a good life with the Rettaliatas. “All this dog wanted to do was curl up on top of you.”

She said that Huskies have a rough way of playing that, to people who don’t know them, can seem intimidating.

“They have a much different play style than other dogs,” she said. “They’re a rough and tumble breed. They’re mouthy. Often people interpret that as being aggressive when it’s really them just playing.”

In the Quail Run community of townhomes, a number of residents have dogs that they walk over to the community dog park. Neighbors with dogs say the park is generally an easy-going place where well-mannered dogs play with one another.

Bear-Bear was a regular there.

Tarnna Hernandez saw Bear-Bear all the time. She lives two doors down from the Rettaliatas and Bear-Bear plays with her children and Marshmallow, her year-and-a-half-old Dalmatian/Australian Shepherd mix.

“I’ve never personally seen him be aggressive toward any dog or human or anything, for that matter,” Hernandez said. “My two very young children love Bear-Bear and would attack him every time they saw him with hugs and love.”

She can’t believe Bear-Bear would ever do anything to deserve being shot.

“I have not seen that dog hurt anyone. Or snarl. He’s never even barked,” she said. “His only way was to get out a gun out and shoot him? Uh-uh. It’s completely unbelievable.”

Dorothy Pearce, the homeowner’s association manager, was appalled that someone would fire a gun in the community dog park — at dinner time.

“This is tragic,” she said. “A community of homeowners with children playing around should not have gun-crazy, off-duty policemen shooting in their area, especially a dog in a controllable situation.”

Rettaliala said after the officer shot Bear-Bear, the dog didn’t yelp or cry, he lay down in the grass, bleeding heavily. “He just went and laid down,” she said. “I just can’t get over it and I don’t think it’s being taken seriously because it was an animal involved.”

Carolyn Kilborn, chairwoman of the organization Maryland Votes for Animals, based in nearby Annapolis, thought the authorities, at the very least, should be investigating the case thoroughly.

“The killing of the dog in Severn is a sad situation that should be investigated carefully to determine if the incident was caused by a dangerous dog or a dangerous person,” she said. “Generally, our society has laws in place to deal with dangerous people --- although the grieving owner of the dog who was shot will likely not get justice nor proper restitution for his terrible loss.”

Posted by Jill Rosen at 7:58 PM
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 4th, 2010, 10:11 am

Holy crap.
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Postby Pit♥bull » August 4th, 2010, 10:12 am

SAD... R.I.P. Bear-Bear :nono:
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Postby LMM » August 4th, 2010, 10:55 am

I am speechless.

RIP Bear Bear :(
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Postby PetieMarie22 » August 4th, 2010, 11:04 am

That really sucks! A little quick on the draw officer???
When I am thinking about letting Petie play with another dog, I always let the other owner know that Petie plays rough, like a gladiator! If someone says "Oh yeah, my dog does too", I take that as they understand it's PLAY not FIGHTING. I guess you don't get to have that conversation though when your dog is already off leash at a dog park. :(

That sucks that the police are protecting this idiot! Not like the cop had a tiny dog that would have been done in one bite either! I'm sure his GS could have held his own while they were seperated if that was what was needed. Unnecessary! >(
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Postby Malli » August 4th, 2010, 1:27 pm

They should be able to charge him for AT LEAST a loss of property fine, if not cruelty to animals. weird...
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Postby amazincc » August 4th, 2010, 6:47 pm

She said that Huskies have a rough way of playing that, to people who don’t know them, can seem intimidating.

“They have a much different play style than other dogs,” she said. “They’re a rough and tumble breed. They’re mouthy. Often people interpret that as being aggressive when it’s really them just playing.”


Pretty much like Pit Bulls... fur-covered gladiators. :neutral:

RIP, Bear-Bear... :cry:
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Postby mnp13 » August 4th, 2010, 8:53 pm

I have to wonder what the whole story is, but it will probably never actually come out.
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 4th, 2010, 8:56 pm

An update...the mayor of Annapolis has supposedly asked for an inquiry...so there will hopefully be more to this story to come!
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Postby plebayo » August 4th, 2010, 9:21 pm

Someone needs to lose their gun.

Would he haul off and shoot someone if they got into a mild argument with his wife? If he encountered two children fighting would he shoot one of them?

I think him not knowing how huskies play is irrelevant. If you can't tell the difference between playing, a snark, or a fight you probably shouldn't be at the dog park. Either the dogs were fighting and we're not hearing the actual truth/whole story and the guy was justified in pulling his gun. Or the guy is a trigger happy pos.

It's just a sad situation over all.
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Postby madremissy » August 4th, 2010, 9:47 pm

I have no words... at least none I can say without getting in trouble. :mad2:
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Postby mnp13 » August 4th, 2010, 10:01 pm

Honestly, in my mind, going to a dog park is an assumption of risk. Even if there was a dog fight, the officer wouldn't be justified in shooting the dog. And one dog on a leash and one dog loose just adds to a problem anyway, which is why the parks have those rules anyway. ugh...

but there is still probably more to it...

and if the guy was holding on to the leash the whole time, there may have been a time that he actually felt threatened, who knows. At some point, his side will probably come out.
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 4th, 2010, 10:03 pm

http://wjz.com/local/bear.husky.dog.2.1842810.html

Aug 4, 2010 5:16 pm US/Eastern Off-Duty Officer Shoots Dog After Alleged Attack Reporting

Anne Arundel County leaders are calling for a full investigation into the shooting of a Siberian Husky at a private dog park. The shooter was an off-duty federal police officer.

Gigi Barnett spoke with the dog's owners.

"He can't be replaced, and he's our baby," said Rachel Rettaliata, the dog's owner.

Rachel and Ryan Rettaliata are missing their dog.

Bear-Bear was shot and killed at a dog park Monday night. It's blocks away from the Rettaliata's home in Severn, Anne Arundel County.

The alleged shooter is a federal police officer.

"You just don't aim and fire at someone else's dog because you think that's the best way to go," said Ryan.

The Rettaliatas say they were told that the case was closed. That's until Wednesday. County leaders are now demanding a full investigation into the shooting.

"When I read about this, I contacted the police chief directly and said I want this case investigated thoroughly," said Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold.

Leopold says neighbors have called asking for it. So far, there are two Facebook pages supporting the investigation.

"There is certain specific information that was not known initially that is now known. I think there will be grounds for bringing charges," said Leopold.

The officer, who isn't being identified because of the investigation, told detectives that Bear-Bear attacked his dog, a German Shepherd who was on a leash.

During the tussle, he allegedly pulled out his service weapon and shot Bear-Bear once.

Rachel Rettaliata's brother saw the shooting.

"I went up close to him, and I asked him, was that a taser, and he said, 'no, it was a nine millimeter. I shot him in the rear. I don't see any blood. I think he's ok.' He said that calmly," said Rettaliata's brother.

But the Rettaliata's say Bear-Bear was a playful dog and wrestling is how Siberian Huskies play.

Now they'll get the investigation they wanted.

Police are looking for anymore witnesses to come forward who were at the dog park Monday night.


(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
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Postby PetieMarie22 » August 5th, 2010, 9:16 am

I'm glad they are looking into this more.
TheRedQueen wrote:I shot him in the rear. I don't see any blood. I think he's ok.
WHAT?!
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Postby katiek0417 » August 5th, 2010, 12:02 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:An update...the mayor of Annapolis has supposedly asked for an inquiry...so there will hopefully be more to this story to come!


Well,the County Executive made it very clear (from what I understand) that this needs to be investigated further before making the decision not to bring charges....I saw an interview with him on the news this morning....
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 6th, 2010, 8:20 am

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/cr ... polic.html

Dog shot in Arundel Park; police reverse course to investigate
A day after Anne Arundel County police said their investigation into a federal officer who fatally shot a dog in a park had concluded without charges, authorities reversed course and said they would probe further.

The shooting of the brown and white husky named Bear-Bear has outraged animal advocates and pet owners across the county. The Baltimore Sun's Jill Rosen, author of the Unleashed blog, where you can read much more about this incident, reports that Bear-Bear became entangled in another dog when its owner opened fire in the Quail Run dog park.

The off-duty federal officer has not been identified. But a day after his police force said no crime had been committed, County Executive John R. Leopold said he was "deeply troubled" by the shooting and he ordered the investigation re-opened, calling it a priority.

"This investigation is far from complete," the county's police chief James Teare said Wednesday afternoon. "The Police Department takes this very seriously and will continue to investigate all aspects of the case."

Dog walkers question whether the officer shot too quickly in a public park crowded with dog owners and children, and whether he did enough to stop the dogs -- playing off the leash in a fenced in play area -- from fighting before turning to his weapon. The officer had told police that he feared for the life of his dog and his family.

Here is the latest statement from Anne Arundel County Police:

WESTERN DISTRICT

WEAPON DISCHARGE INVESTIGATION SEVERN

On August 2, 2010, at approximately 6:23 p.m., officers from the Western District responded to the Quail Run Community Dog Park located at the corner of Severn Tree Boulevard and New Disney Road in Severn for an animal complaint.

Upon arrival, officers observed a light-colored Husky dog (Bear) wounded on the ground. Officers spoke with a 32-year-old off-duty federal police officer, who advised that he and his wife were at the dog park with their leashed German Shepherd dog (Asia) when Bear approached and jumped on his dog. The off-duty federal officer advised that he yelled for the male subject with Bear to come get his dog. According to the officer, Bear began to bite his dog. The off-duty federal officer stated he attempted to get Husky off his dog, but the Husky turned and attempted to bite him before biting his dog a second time. The off-duty officer stated that he feared for the safety of himself, his wife and their dog and subsequently shot the Huskie with a handgun he had in his possession.

Officers then spoke with the male subject who had the Husky at the park. He stated that Bear and the off-duty federal officer’s dog appeared to be playing with each other at the time and that his dog was friendly and never had any problems before at the park.

Animal Control officers responded and the dog was transported to the Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Annapolis, where the dog later died at approximately 9:30 p.m. At this time, the investigation into this incident is ongoing. The name of the off-duty federal officer is not being released at this time.

“This investigation is not complete. The police department takes this incident very seriously and will continue to investigate all aspects of the case,” said Chief of Police Colonel James Teare, Sr.


Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:36 AM
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Postby plebayo » August 6th, 2010, 8:40 am

mnp13 wrote:Honestly, in my mind, going to a dog park is an assumption of risk. Even if there was a dog fight, the officer wouldn't be justified in shooting the dog. And one dog on a leash and one dog loose just adds to a problem anyway, which is why the parks have those rules anyway. ugh...

but there is still probably more to it...

and if the guy was holding on to the leash the whole time, there may have been a time that he actually felt threatened, who knows. At some point, his side will probably come out.


I totally agree I don't think shooting the dog can really be justified. I was just thinking maybe the dogs really got into it and the husky owners were standing around like deer in the head lights with their dog totally out of control so the officer did what he thought he should do, or like you said maybe he felt threatened.

So far it's not really looking like a good situation... the fact he would even go to his gun before doing anything else is kind of scary.
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 11th, 2010, 10:23 pm

"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby amazincc » August 12th, 2010, 12:51 am

Hmmm... was the other dog treated for his bite wounds? Is there any documentation that he was bitten?
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 12th, 2010, 10:13 pm

amazincc wrote:Hmmm... was the other dog treated for his bite wounds? Is there any documentation that he was bitten?


That's what I've been asking...someone that lives near there told me that the cop's dog had no bite wounds...but I don't remember who told me that, or where they read it.
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