Lora Perry has started a memorial in her yard where Rosie was shot by a Des Moines Police Officer on Sunday Nov. 7.
Update 2-Memorial to be held this Sunday
In Des Moines roaming dog call escalates to use of lethal force on a family pet
Des Moines Police Officers, responding to a roaming dog call, chased Rosie, a 200 pound Newfoundland, into Lora Perry’s backyard where police officers shot and killed the dog last Sunday, Nov. 7.
“It almost seemed like it was a game to them,” Perry said, referring to the four officers, including a police Sgt., who responded to the call. She said the officer who shot Rosie had no remorse, and treated it like a challenge, saying a officer said, ‘I haven’t had one that big before.’
The police report lists Rosie at 200 pounds, however the dogs owners say Rosie only weighed 120 pounds.
An incident review is being done to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified or not.
After the incident review there will be a shooting review. Des Moines Police Sgt. Bob Collins said the officer felt lethal force was justified based on the dog’s previous aggressive actions.
“He believed it was the step he needed to take,” Collins said.
The officers on the scene tried to find the owner of the dog before attempting to apprehend it, Collins said. The dog did not have a collar on, and when neighbors asked a neighbor if they knew the dog they said they did not.
Police were also in touch with Magnuson, who was off duty, sending her a cell phone picture of the dog to see if she new the animal and its owners. She said she did not.
According to the police report, when the police tried to capture Rosie with a catch pull, she would charge toward them quickly and retreat, barking and showing her teeth.
Officers then tased Rosie, who ran away down the street. Officers continued to follow the dog, tasing her again with no affect.
Rosie then ran into Perry’s backyard and hid in the bushes. Perry said Rosie did not move from her position from the moment she noticed her to when police shot her.
Before police arrived Perry said her little dog was running around the large yard, searching for Rosie. Perry said at no point was Rosie aggressive to either Perry or her dog.
“(Rosie) was cornered and frozen and it did not move the entire time,” Perry said. “The dog was a gentle dog, it didn’t do anything wrong.”
Perry said her gate was open for a brief period, allowing Rosie to get in. She said the dog was in her backyard for at least 20 minutes before police showed up. By the time police came to the house the gate was closed, locking Rosie in.
Police officers came to her door asking if she had seen the dog they had been chasing. After officers came into the backyard they asked Lora to stay inside with her kids. Both Perry and Sgt. Collins say no attempt was made at that point to capture Rosie.
Perry said about a minute after police came into her backyard a police officer drew his firearm and shot Rosie four times.
“I could hear the dog crying and whining after the first shot went off,” Perry said. She said after the first shot she closed her eyes. “It was quick, they already had their mind set on what they were going to do,” Perry said. “Their main concern was shooting the dog.”
The police report says the dog did not make any noise after being shot the first time.
Perry said after the incident one police officer came into her house giggling about shooting the dog.
“I know without a doubt in my mind this is not what they should have done.”
A shooting review is not automatically conducted after an officer discharges their firearm at an animal, Collins said. Interim Des Moines Police Chief John O’Leary ordered the review, Collins said.
“It is a sad outcome,” Collins said. “We are public servant and we understand that there is going to be public accountability.
“Situations like this can deteriorate public trust.”
The incident has attracted international attention, and the facebook group Justice for Rosie has 632 members.
Lora Perry has set up a memorial for Rosie at the fence where Rosie was shot at 26852 16 Ave. S. and is inviting people to leave flowers for Rosie.
A vigil for Rosie is scheduled for Sunday Nov. 14 on 16th Ave. between 268 st. and 272 st. at 2 p.m.