Gates Police: Officer Justified in Shooting Dog
Police ticketed Johnson for having an unleashed dog and for having a dangerous animal. Both are misdemeanors under the NYS Agricultural and Markets law. Police also detailed three prior encounters with this dog and owner that warranted tickets or warnings. Gates Police state that two of the past incidents are from 2010 and the most recent is from February 2012 when the owner’s American bulldog and pit bull mastiff were loose and trying to bite the responding police officer. Johnson pled guilty to those tickets in March 2012.
"The last thing that a policeman wants to do is resort to his firearm whether it was a person or a dog," Lt. Vanbrederode said. "In this case the situation was clear that if he didn't act immediately or decisively the dog, a 142-pound dog, was going to attack him."
Lt. Vanbrederode stated that the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing following an internal police investigation. That officer remains on active patrol. The department issued an apology through a statement given to the media.
"I want a personal apology not something written on paper," Johnson told 13WHAM News when we read him that statement from police. "That is the least they could do, and it wasn't my dog running loose in the neighborhood, it's not."
Johnson added that he would also appreciate it if police paid for his dog’s burial or cremation.