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Dog killed by Colorado Springs Police

Published On: Aug 30 2013 09:38:59 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 30 2013 01:51:42 PM CDT

Owner says her pit bull wasn't aggressive and likely acted in response to police handcuffing her husband


An investigation is underway after Colorado Springs police shot and killed a dog during a burglary investigation Friday morning.

"All I could do was scream and cry her name," said Danielle Burch.  Burch said her husband and their dog Cara were outside their home around 4 a.m. because of a recent break-in.

That's when police looking for suspects in a burglary ran into them.  Police say while the officer was attempting to talk to her husband, their pit bull charged them.

Officers tried to get the dog stop, but it continued, police said. An officer then fired four shots at the dog to prevent the officer from being attacked, killing the dog.

Burch said police had her husband handcuffed on the ground and that is what likely provoked Cara.  "She's very protective so if she see's someone doing bodily hard and threatening her daddy, she's going to be aggressive," said Burch.  But Burch said her dog has never attacked anyone before.

"Their personality and behavior can change quickly, we all have to realize that," said Joe Stafford, Director of Animal Law Enforcement at the Pikes Peak Humane Society.

Stafford says there are about 1,200 dog bites every year in El Paso County and the bigger the dog, the bigger the risk to a person.

"A dog that weighs 40 to 50 pounds and up can inflict great bodily harm to a person and unfortunately we see that all the time in the work we do," said Stafford.

Police are still investigating.

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers passed the "Dog Protection Act."  It aims to improve how law enforcement officers handle encounters with dogs.

This week, officers and animal experts met to iron out the details.


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