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Police shoot, kill puppy in backyard while chasing suspect, owners say

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A Michigan couple is devastated after they say police shot and killed their 10-month-old puppy while they were chasing a suspect through their fenced-in backyard.

Bianca Alakson and Ryan Showalter said their labrador/pit bull mix, Rock, was in their backyard Sunday morning when police began chasing a suspect through their Redford Township neighborhood, WDIV-TV reported.

Police said they saw their suspect in the couple's home and entered the backyard through an unlocked gate. Police said Rock charged one of the officers, who fired two shots, killing the dog.

To add insult to injury, police reportedly took Mr. Showalter into custody after he questioned police about the shooting and they accused him of trying to interfere with the investigation.

"You guys just shoot my dog?" Mr. Showalter told WDIV. "They said, 'No, you need to go in the house.' Try to tell me I was resisting arrest. I was breaking down hysterically in the back seat of the cop car crying. I didn't know what to do."

Mr. Showalter has not been charged, the station said.

In a statement, Redford police said that "everyone here loves animals," and that "[shooting a dog] is the last thing we want to do, but we have to protect ourselves."

It was not immediately clear if officers caught the suspect that they were chasing.

The couple maintain that there's no way Rock could have posed a threat to the officer.

"He wasn't the protector-of-the-house type dog," Mr. Showalter said. "He was just the greet-everybody-and-love-them-to-death type dog."

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