UPDATE: Police Shoot Unsupervised, Aggressive Dog
UPDATE - 9/21/20, 8:27pm: The whole scope of this story changed when an eyewitness provided us with pictures and video from the scene.
According to the eyewitness, Zeus had been aggressive towards neighbors when the police were called. He was preventing the residents of one home from exiting their home, and, with raised hackles (piloerection), aggressively approached another elderly neighbor. The officer shouted at the dog to get his attention away from the elderly neighbor and, as Zeus approached, the officer used pepper spray to try to fend him off.
The eyewitness also said that the officer was on the phone with a supervisor for a good part of the situation, and also said it appeared the officer did NOT want to shoot the dog, and did so only as a last resort.
The eyewitness shared with us a video of what they claim are the parents being arrested the day prior to the shooting, which is why they weren't home when Zeus was shot.
A quick online search brought up the report of an arrest of a "Taylor Young", and the address listed in the report corresponds to the address the eyewitness gives as being the location of the shooting.
Taylor Brook Young, 25, 300 block of Doral Street, Sunset. Possession of Schedule I CDS, possession of a CDS in the presence of persons under 17 years of age (3 counts), possession of Schedule II CDS, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of a firearm in the presence of a CDS. Arrested by Sunset Police. - St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office
The children weren't home because they had been placed in the custody of relatives after the arrests were made.
It is unknown if arrangements were made to have someone care for the dog while the owner(s) were in jail.
Now that I read the arrest report, my gut is even more wrenched: I am heartbroken that the dog had to be shot, which I NOW blame on the owner(s). I am even more heartbroken that children are being brought up in this type of atmosphere.
When I first posted this story, it was one-sided. Now that we have eye-witness accounts, it appears that this one may be cut-and-dry.
Kudos to the Sunset Police Department for protecting its citizens. I have never been a peace officer, but I have to imagine it isn't an easy decision to have to fire your service weapon in the line of duty.
Also, had the dog been properly trained and cared for, he would probably still be alive. I hope that this young family gets the help they need.
A Sunset family is looking for answers after police officers shot their beloved pet.
Taylor Young posted the story on Facebook, and it wrenched my gut:
From what I read in the story, it appears that Zeus was his own yard when the officers made the decision to shoot him, twice.
Our dog was killed for no reason. The cops can’t even answer our calls and talk to us to explain why they did something so cruel to an innocent animal. - Taylor Young, Facebook
After being shot twice, Zeus crawled under the house, and officers followed, shooting Zeus one final time, killing him. They then dragged his body from under the house and contacted another city agency to take the dog away to be disposed of.
According to the post, Young has made calls to the police department and they "can't even answer" the calls.
If the dog was acting in an aggressive manner, the shooting may have been justified, even if the dog was on its own property. If the dog wasn't being aggressive, officials should do the right thing and take punitive action against the officers involved.
What is even more heartbreaking is the fact that the dog was a pet to 3 kids. Young laments in the comments section that she doesn't know what to tell her daughter:
"the worst part is trying to explain to your 5 year old daughter why her dog isn’t here anymore... breaks my heart all I can tell her is he is in heaven but I don’t tell her why because I don’t want her being afraid of any law enforcement". Taylor Young
I commend Taylor on her parenting skills; not wanting to tell her daughter that a police officer shot their pup so as her daughter doesn't grow up with a bad taste for all police.
Young's daughter wanted her to make a memorial with Zeus's picture so that "she could always see him".
Let's hope the family gets answers soon.