The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

February 7, 2011

Loss of respect for police after dog incident

OTTUMWA — On Jan. 27, an Ottumwa police officer responded to a call about a dog on Loomis Street between Davis and Ransom. A small mutt was sitting outside at his owners’ home, who were not home. It has been reported in the neighborhood that the dog did get out a lot and liked to visit the people in the neighborhood. He was friendly and never hurt anyone. This little guy loved his family. He would be seen outside playing with the kids a lot. His life was forever changed on this day. He will no longer play with his family, nor will his family play with him ever again. The officer that responded shot this dog for what witnesses say was no reason at all. The dog was not seen being aggressive in any way. The dog was possibly pepper sprayed first, and he did not like that so he backed away. The officer then shot the dog once. The dog ran off to hide. After a little bit he came back out and witnesses say he slowly approached the officer as if to say ‘please help me, I am hurting.’ The dog was cowered down, not charging or barking. The officer then shot him again. This was in about a 15-minute time span according to witnesses. After the second shot the dog flopped around until he died. To think that this dog was shot for no reason and then allowed to suffer for about 15 minutes is heartbreaking. This is unacceptable. On top of that the officer never once knocked on the door of the house. He never attempted to contact the owners. After the dog was removed from the property, the officer then kicked snow over the blood to cover it up. This is who we have to protect and serve our community?

I have always had respect for our law enforcement for putting their lives on the line for people they may not even know, but that is now gone. This family never got to tell their family pet good-bye and will not be able to bury their dog either. Not only did he take his life, but they took him from them, too. We have to demand that our officers have compassion and not do this kind of stuff. The officer needs to be properly punished for what he did. People of Ottumwa, PLEASE keep a good eye on your pets. They are not safe if they are running the streets. RIP little guy. I hope justice is served for what happened to you.

Dawn LaPoint

Ottumwa

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