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Chicago: Cop shoots puppy then issues owner parking ticket

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North Side family says prized puppy was unjustly shot by cop

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A North Side family is furious over what they claim was an unjustified police shooting of their 7-month-old miniature bull terrier, Colonel Phillips, known to the neighborhood as "The Colonel."

Residents are also upset, not just because police shot a puppy they all knew, but also because the shooting occurred not far from a preschool, on a street where pedestrians including children could have been hurt.

The dog's father was a champion show dog and his owners hoped he would one day be a show dog himself.

"They look like Spuds Mckenzie. You've seen the Target ad? One of those, but they're miniatures," owner Al Phillips says of the breed.

But on Saturday afternoon, the Colonel became a target himself. He was shot by a Chicago Police officer in front of his owner's gated, North Side home. Police were writing a parking ticket for a van belonging to Al Phillips, so Phillips came out to move the vehicle.

"My little bull terrier followed me out," Phillips explains. "Then, all I hear is boom! Boom! Two shots. You shot the dog!"

One eyewitness, Charlene Dezego, told FOX 32 News that she heard the officer warned Phillips about the dog being loose, but the officer never sounded like he was in danger.

"All of sudden I heard him say, ‘get your dog,' and then the next statement was ‘get your dog,' and then he just pulled out his gun and shot twice," says Dezengo.

Morgan Phillips, Al's daughter, rushed the dog to an emergency vet.

"He needed five hours surgery. They took shrapnel out of his stomach. He had shell casing in his leg. It lacerated his muscle. We were going to show him, but we can't now," Morgan says.

While FOX 32's Larry Yellen was interviewing the dog's owners, two police officers drove by the home. 90 minutes later, they came back, asked why Phillips why he had contacted the media and gave him a ticket for not keeping Colonel on a leash.

"They were giving us a ticket, three days after the fact," says Phillips. "So I think they're probably trying to cover their rear ends."

A police spokesman says the shooting is being investigated by the independent police review authority, which investigates all police shootings.

The Phillips family says they're considering a petition drive to have the officer who shot their dog taken off the streets.

They also say that after shooting the dog, the officer put his gun back in his holster, and calmly finished writing the ticket for their van.

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Keep your dogs on a leash. Why is that so hard to understand. Not saying the officer was right in shooting but it seems like the animal should have been easily controlled preventing this whole drama in the first place.

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As she ran beside (not towards) the couple walking in front of us to get to my dog, the man just turned around and full-on booted the dog through the air, off the trail. I had to break up the fight between the owner and the dog-kicker, who claims he was defending himself from being attacked by this 20 pound puppy. When the dog-kicking couple went and got the park ranger (because the dog was off the leash, they thought they could get the owner fined), he then said that if he had a gun, the owner's dog would've been dead. Just because it was running past him.

Some people just hate/fear animals and really truly believe it's within their rights to attack or kill them, and will search for their excuse to make it socially acceptable. fracked up people.

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Keep your dogs on a leash. Why is that so hard to understand. Not saying the officer was right in shooting but it seems like the animal should have been easily controlled preventing this whole drama in the first place.

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Why did you break up the fight? I would have helped stomp the dog kicker in this situation.

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Keep your dogs on a leash. Why is that so hard to understand. Not saying the officer was right in shooting but it seems like the animal should have been easily controlled preventing this whole drama in the first place.

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Situation avoidable in so many ways.

-Why are you parking illegally in front of your own house?

-Why does parking ticket vendor need a gun?

-Why was the bull terrier loose? Esp. a 7 month old one. Big enough to do damage, dumb enough to try.

-Why was the first instinct to shoot the dog?

-Where was the owner during the shooting? Shouldn't he be right there next to the dog if it's loose?

They're lucky the dog lived. Maybe next time everyone involved can act a lot more responsibly.

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Situation avoidable in so many ways.

-Why are you parking illegally in front of your own house?

-Why does parking ticket vendor need a gun?

-Why was the bull terrier loose? Esp. a 7 month old one. Big enough to do damage, dumb enough to try.

-Why was the first instinct to shoot the dog?

-Where was the owner during the shooting? Shouldn't he be right there next to the dog if it's loose?

They're lucky the dog lived. Maybe next time everyone involved can act a lot more responsibly.

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Yup and if it was a puppy it should have been even easier to control. From what I see here the owner is at fault for not securing the animal. None of us were there to see ourselves what happened. All we get are 'dolled' up photos. I don't pass judgement on the officer unless I was there or hear eye witness testimony.

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Officer was wrong to shoot the dog, but the owner was negligent in allowing it to get out. The incident was totally preventable. Cop definitely overreacted though.

My puppy is about a year old. When I have to go outside I do everything I can so he doesn't get out just to avoid any possible problems.

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Keep your dogs on a leash. Why is that so hard to understand. Not saying the officer was right in shooting but it seems like the animal should have been easily controlled preventing this whole drama in the first place.

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I sometimes let my dog walk down the driveway and nearby grass to do his business, but I always make sure that no one is around as he does not always react well to other dogs. However, shooting the dog seems a little excessive. Its a puppy.

I do remember walking my dog once in my neighbourhood, when a woman came jogging around the corner, with her two dogs unleashed running ahead of her. Before I can do anything, her dogs are barking and getting worked up with my dog who is doing the same. Meanwhile, I'm trying to control my dog, while the woman is still nearly 30ft away.

Don't see why she couldn't have them leashed while jogging.

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I sometimes let my dog walk down the driveway and nearby grass to do his business, but I always make sure that no one is around as he does not always react well to other dogs. However, shooting the dog seems a little excessive. Its a puppy.

I do remember walking my dog once in my neighbourhood, when a woman came jogging around the corner, with her two dogs unleashed running ahead of her. Before I can do anything, her dogs are barking and getting worked up with my dog who is doing the same. Meanwhile, I'm trying to control my dog, while the woman is still nearly 30ft away.

Don't see why she couldn't have them leashed while jogging.

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Look at the pictures of the dog now. At 7 months, he is pretty much full grown and his head is as big as a childs. That dog can do some damage. He was also not inside the house but outside of the gate near the street. The officer should have never shot the dog, but the owner just sounds like an idiot. "The officer didn't sound like he was in danger".

Some people don't like dogs, I can't see why, but, as a dog owner it is your responsibility to watch over the welfare of your animal, and not that of others.

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I think both sides were wrong.

The officer completely overreacted, but at the same time the owner shouldn't have had his unleashed puppy near the street to begin with. I have a puppy and would never let her near the street without a leash. Like Hudson Bay Rules said, Puppies are unpredictable and have a tendency to not listen. You're just asking for trouble when you let them run free.

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Shooting the dog was cowardly. If the cop really felt threatened, pulling out his baton or pepper spray should have been enough to put his mind at ease. That being said, dog owners should always be aware that people will react if they feel threatened. You need to keep your dog controlled for that reason, not to be courteous to the strangers you encounter, but to keep your pet safe.

Its like walking down a dark alley by yourself at night and getting mugged, you can complain all you want about how mugging people is wrong and how the mugger is a bad guy, and you would be entirely correct, but it doesn't change the fact that avoiding that alley would have been a good idea. Sure you are technically allowed to walk down that alley, and its not like you should have been mugged or deserved it, but only an idiot knowingly puts themselves into that kind of situation.

When it comes to dogs, keeping them safe is always a good idea, if you see a man with a gun, you don't let your dog run up to them unleashed, particularly any dog associated with any sort of aggressive reputation. It's still the cop's fault the dog got shot, but that is one stupid dog owner.

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