- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2016

A California family is reeling after deputies responding to the wrong address killed their 11-year-old husky-Labrador mix.

Two deputies arrived at a Hesperia residence about noon Monday after a neighbor called 911 to report a domestic disturbance, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The neighbor, identified only as “Mike,” said he told dispatchers that the home was to the left of his, but they somehow ended up his neighbor’s home on the right, ABC News reported.

The sheriff's department said the deputies rattled the fence to alert any animals at the house, and two small dogs came running, followed by a larger dog named Buddy.

Police said Buddy was “immediately aggressive,” and a deputy fired a fatal shot in self-defense. Someone then came out of the house and spoke with the deputies police said. That’s when they realized they had the location wrong, USA Today reported.

The dog’s owner, Debra Blackmore, wrote in a furious Facebook post that her beloved pet didn’t even have a chance to bark before he was shot. She shared a photo of the lifeless dog lying in a pool of blood inside her house. She said Buddy bled out for 10 minutes before he finally died.

“It’s totally wrong. It was not necessary,” a tearful Mrs. Blackmore told a local NBC News affiliate.

Her brother-in-law, Tony Cardoza, told ABC that he was “right behind” the dog and refuted the claim that Buddy was a threat.

“There is no reason for cops to say he was acting aggressive,” he said.

In a portion of audio released by investigators, a dog can be heard barking loudly before a single gunshot rings out, NBC reported. Police said they also offered to take Buddy to the vet, but the family refused because of the potential cost.

“As far as I’m concerned, my kid could have come through on a bicycle and got shot,” said Mrs. Blackmore’s husband, Dwayne.

Officers apologized to Mrs. Blackmore before heading over to the correct house, where they arrested Stephanie Roper on active warrants for grand theft auto and narcotics violations, the New York Daily News reported.

“The department and the officers involved in this unfortunate situation all recognize the emotional impact the loss of a family pet has on this family and we extend our deepest sympathies,” the sheriff's department said in a statement. “The officers involved in this incident feel terrible about what occurred but felt they had no other reasonable option at the time.”

 

Hesperia police have reached out to the Blackmore family to apologize.

The deputies involved in the shooting have not been suspended and are back on patrol, the Daily News reported.

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