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After dog shot, Pueblo man speaks about Dog Protection Act

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Apr 09 2013 11:49:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 12:24:10 AM CDT

It's first in the nation legislation, and it was inspired, in part, by the shooting of a Pueblo dog by Commerce City police.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

It's first in the nation legislation, and it was inspired, in part, by a Pueblo dog named Chloe.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Senate unanimously passed a bill to help prevent pet shootings by giving law enforcement officers extra training on how to deal with dogs.

Gary Branson's says his 3-year-old chocolate lab mix, Chloe, was a sweet, gentle dog who was great with children.

"This is Chloe's paw print," said Branson Tuesday, holding up a ceramic imprint. "Other than my memories of her, this is what I have."

Branson said he still hasn't been able to watch the cell phone video of Commerce City police killing his dog.

In November, Branson went on vacation and left Chloe with his cousin in Commerce City. He says the dog was left in the garage, but managed to get out. Several police officers responded and caught Chloe with a catch pole. It appears Chloe is trying to get away when an officer shoots her five times. The man who pulled the trigger, Robert Price, is facing felony animal cruelty charges.

"It's an eye opener," Branson said. "It's not only happening here in Colorado, but across the nation."

The Dog Protection Act requires officers have three hours of online training on dog behavior and using nonlethal force to get control of an animal.

"This will give them the training to see whether it's actually an aggressive dog or not," Branson said.

He said he hopes Chloe's short life had a bigger purpose.

"Hopefully, it'll save some lives down the line," he said.

The measure now moves to the state House. In their research, lawmakers say they found out Colorado officers shot 37 dogs in the last five years. Two other high profile cases include the shooting of a German Shepard in Boulder Co. and the killing of a border collie mix in Adams Co. after deputies responded to the wrong address.

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