MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — Two emotional support dogs are recovering from serious injuries after an officer shot them in their backyard, claiming they came charging at him. A video surveillance tape, posted by the dogs’ owner that night, appears to tell a different story.
The evening of July 8, Jennifer Lemay and her two children returned home from a camping trip, but opening their door triggered their alarm system. Jennifer contacted the security company to notify them of the false alarm, but apparently the Minneapolis Police Department did not receive that update.
When officers arrived on the premises, one of them secured the front of the home, while another hopped the backyard fence. While inspecting the area, the officer in the rear attracted the attention of the family dogs, Ciroc and Rocko. They initially ran toward him, but then stopped short, wagging their tails. Seconds later, standing a safe distance away from the curious canines, the officer fired his gun at Ciroc, and then fired again at Rocko.
The police report says “While staging at the rear, two large-size pit bulls charged at officer. Officer dispatched the two dogs, causing them to run back into the residence.”
Rocko and Ciroc are lucky to be alive, and the police department has since offered to help the family pay the vet bills for their injuries. The family has cared for the dogs since they were puppies, adopted to help Jennifer’s kids cope with anxiety. In an interview with Star Tribune, Jennifer says hearing both had been shot was as heart-wrenching as it would have been had her own kids been shot.
The name of the officer has not been released by the Minneapolis Police Department.