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Police Chief Calls Shooting of Family Dog 'Unfortunate'

Police Chief Calls Shooting of Family Dog 'Unfortunate'

Mary Kate Hallock holds a leash that belonged to her dog Gloria at her home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, September 30, 2010. Gloria, an 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, was shot and killed on Tuesday by Oakland police who were responding to a burglar a

San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix

October 01, 2010

OAKLAND, CA – Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said Friday that the fatal shooting of a family dog by an officer investigating a burglar alarm was “unfortunate” and that the department would be investigating the incident, the second police killing of an animal in five months.

Gloria, an 11-year-old arthritic yellow Labrador owned by Ward and Mary Kate Hallock since she was a puppy, was shot dead Tuesday after it advanced on an officer “in a threatening manner,” police said.

The officer, identified by sources as Victor Garcia, shot Gloria three times with his .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic handgun after the dog came out through an open rear door of the Hallocks’ home on Burgos Avenue in the Knowland Park neighborhood in the Oakland hills.

Garcia told investigators that “the dog was growling and closing the gap between them as the officer was retreating backward,” police said in a statement Friday. “As the dog continued to advance, the officer discharged his firearm, killing the dog.”

Garcia has not been placed on leave pending an investigation into the incident, police said.

The shooting outraged the Hallocks and their two children. While acknowledging that Gloria was known to bark and be protective, they said police did not have to use deadly force and could have used a Taser or pepper spray, or even thrown the dog some food to calm her down.

In a statement Friday, Batts said, "It is an unfortunate incident when you have a family pet protecting its home and officers responding to protect the property. The end result is not something we wanted, and my heart goes out to the family who has lost their dog.

“We are investigating the incident to ensure that proper policies and procedures were followed and evaluating possible ways to improve outcomes related to future contacts with animals,” the chief said.

Batts’ comments echoed remarks he made after an officer shot and killed a young deer in an East Oakland backyard May 1.

The officer who killed the deer has been disciplined, and Sgt. Terrance West, who ordered that the deer be shot, has been demoted to officer, source said.

West was demoted after an internal investigation determined that the shooting, which was caught on videotape, was not in accordance with department policy, the sources said.

Ward Hallock said Friday that he was heartened by Batts’ statement about Gloria’s killing.

“I’m sincerely glad to hear him speak in that tone,” he said. “A lot of law enforcement folks can’t do that; they’re more of a command tone than what he (Batts) portrayed there.”

Hallock said he also appreciated getting a call from Sgt. Randy Brandwood, the patrol supervisor at the time of the incident.

“He was quite contrite,” Hallock said. “He’s a dog owner himself.”

Hallock said he wants to sit on some kind of citizen review board that would look at policies for how officers should deal with house pets and other animals.

“Some people are afraid of dogs,” he said. “A dog can rush and it can be misinterpreted on both sides of the fence.”

He added, “I’m not out to get them (the city or police) or cause them any financial harm. I just want to do what I can as a citizen, to offer my services to volunteer on a board, to help develop policy that will reduce, if not eliminate, this kind of incident.”

  • Hpim1329_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Tough business. Officer made the choice he needed to make. I doubt the officer had much time for consideration as we all have here sitting comfortable on our butt's reading about what happened.

  • John_groh_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I wasn't there so I'm not going to second guess the Officer. But I have been in the same spot many times and was able to get away from the dog without having to shoot it. But I have to say that a few of those times I came real close. Both the dog and the Officer were there to protect the property. Sorry to hear the dog had to die thinking it was doing the right thing.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    I'm torn on this one. Officers have a right and a duty to protect themselves, but being a former dog owner (he had to be put down due to old age) I may have approached the situation differently. That being said, if the animal was approaching the Officer and he perceived it as being threatening, he was within his right to protect himself. Too bad for the pooch, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Carrying around dog treats just in case the animal is hungry?! Really?? Do we even have to discuss that??

  • Stmaarten2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    yes.....because all police oofficers should carry around dog treats in addition to everything....put em right next to the cuffs haha. while this is a very unfortunate event, id shot a growling dog coming at me too. not try to throw it a treat. your 11 year old dog might stop if it sees a treat....but an inner-city pit bull certainly wont

  • My_kids_027_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I have personally been in this situation and had to shoot a family bet that was extremely close to biting me. My heart went out to the owners, but I have been bitten on the job and its not something I intend on letting happen again. I don't want anyone to take me wrong, but if a dog gets dangerously close to me and gets me to the point there is no retreat I will do it again.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    chapman38 we r the most important life form on earth

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    It's pretty sad to read the kidding and the comments from my brothers and sisters on this situation. Private property, family pet, the animal did what it should do. Protect !!!!! I hope this doesn't happen to any of you in the same situation either on a call or returning home after a shift and finding out your pet was shot on your property. I bet the comments wouldn't be the same.........Anyway that's it for me on this topic!!!!!!

  • Apd2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    @Chapman38 I wasn't trying to make it sound that way I was just trying to say how the officer was defending himself and the dog isn't exactly like a human. I wasn't trying to say that we are king of the hill at all because we are not. And along with the deer comment what I was trying to get at was that is was a deer they are hunted and killed every day you dont see everyone crying of a dead deer a hunter just killed. Hope this clears some things up.

  • Snoopy_18_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Img_0103_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Well said "DALLASCRANE" Well said indeed.....

  • Batman_max600_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    By the way I have two labs and they are protective of my home. I love dogs but I do not want to get bit. You do what you have to in order to go home in one piece.

  • Batman_max600_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am going to carry a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to my next bar fight. Maybe it will get the bad guys to stop.LOL

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Vpsomourningband_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is not worth the paper it's written on... so to speak. bump arroyol!

  • Sssssss_max50


    over 4 years ago


    @joshua55: I wouldn't necessarily consider Humans to be the most important life form on this earth. What makes us better than dogs? And your deer comment can be used towards humans as well. I'm not digging your king of the hill attitude.

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