Peninsula News

Family looks for answers after cops shoot dogs

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A San Mateo family is trying to cope with the loss of their two dogs after they were shot and killed by police. Police say the boxers, Bella and Jordan, escaped from the backyard and were threatening a little girl.

The story of what happened on Monday really depends on who you ask. To the family, Bella and Jordan were two loving dogs who wouldn't hurt anyone. To the police, the dogs were out of control and threatening people's safety.

"They were not vicious dogs, they were wonderful, great dogs that were family members," owner Carla Torres said.

Torres says she still has no idea how her two boxers got loose. Police shot and killed them at the neighborhood park. Now the family's looking for a place to bury their ashes.

Torres says the latch to a gate came undone and the dogs made a run for it. It wasn't long before someone called 911.

"A small girl and her small dog had been attacked by a couple of boxer-type dogs," San Mateo Police Sgt. Dave Norris said.

Police say when Jordan and Bella wouldn't calm down, officers tried to subdue them with Tasers but it didn't work.

"One of the dogs was drooling, it was gnashing its teeth, it was acting in a very aggressive manner toward the officers and they felt that they had no choice but to take immediate means to control those animals," Norris said.

Cheyenne Torres, 13, had to say goodbye to Bella at the animal hospital, after vets determined they couldn't save the dog.

"I just started crying; I was so sad because I love them so much," she said.

She and her mom showed ABC7 the dogs' graduation pictures from puppy school and said they were well trained.

"I think our dogs just wanted to play with the little dog; I don't think they were going to hurt anyone and just people get scared of dogs," Carla Torres said.

"Dogs may act different than they normally would when they're off leash and there's a lot of activity, strangers around them, people yelling, that kind of a scene," Peninsula Humane Society spokesperson Scott DeLucchi said.

DeLucchi says animal control showed up just a few minutes too late to help. He points out police aren't trained to deal with angry dogs. But one neighbor who heard the shots thinks they should be.

"If the police department had nets to throw over the dogs, it would've been over with," neighbor J.R. Addy said.

Animal control says they won't file any charges against the Torres family.

Carla Torres says she's consulting an attorney and she's considering suing the police department.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
san mateo, dog attack, animal, shooting, peninsula news, jonathan bloom
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