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Judge's Ruling Says Cops Can Kill Dogs - Even If They Entered The Wrong House

Pet owners, beware. If the police come to your home for any reason while you're away, they've been given permission to kill your dog - just so they don't have to deal with the 'threat'. One judge has set a precedence in Hollywood, Florida after an officer killed a dog when he raided the wrong apartment.

In 2015, a pet pit bull named Missy was in her owner's apartment when Officer Michael McBride and other officers broke in for a raid. Terrified, Missy attempted to run away from the raid, but McBride felt he didn't want to deal with any potential problems. He shot Missy in cold blood. The officer fired six shots at the fleeing pup.

Missy's owner, Wilson Almendarez, came home and was devastated to discover what happened to his dog. The saddest part is that the 38-year-old wasn't even the target of the raid - the police had the wrong apartment.

Almendarez cried when he learned of his dog's fate. "She was my baby. She was everything to me. She did not deserve to die like that. She was a loving dog."

The Hollywood police department investigated and deemed the shooting was in compliance with department rules.

"This was an unfortunate incident that occurred in the line of duty," said Police Chief Tomas Sanchez. "Officers regret having to take action which resulted in the loss of this pit bull's life. Action was taken only as a last resort to ensure the officer's safety during their criminal investigation."

The pet owner filed a lawsuit against the police for violating his Fourth Amendment rights: the ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. A U.S. District Judge ruled that Officer McBride is entitled to immunity. According to the law, officers can't be held liable unless they acted incompetently or knowingly violated the law.

Apparently, bursting into the wrong apartment and killing a pet who is fleeing for its life is considered competent in this district.

Heidi Mehaffey, Almendarez's attorney, said it is a "sad day for pet owners."

Even as protests are going on that are forcing police to be more careful about firing their guns at humans, it seems that officers are getting more trigger happy when it comes to pets.

In San Diego, officers were investigating a stolen vehicle, entered a neighbor's yard looking for witnesses, and encountered a dog. They shot the dog dead in his own yard, essentially just because they happened to stumble upon the pup.

In Florida, a police officer knocked on the door of a homeowner to notify the family that their vehicle door was open. The officer didn't realize the family had been in and out unloading groceries.

The dog ran out, heading toward the officer, wagging his tail. The officer immediately pulled out his gun and shot the animal on the doorstep.

Police officers say that when they see an animal they don’t know, they have to make a split-second decision and prefer to err on the side of caution.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Wilson Almendarez, Sun-Sentinal, 10-42Adam/Flickr

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