Police: Owner negligence to blame for dog’s death | PostIndependent.com

Police: Owner negligence to blame for dog’s death

New Castle police say Tammy Klein disregarded warnings that her dog should be registered and vaccinated, and had she done that, they wouldn’t have been forced to shoot and kill the dog.

And if Klein had called police the day her dog, Jenny, got out of the yard, police could have returned her.

New Castle Police Sgt. Edward Wilks said Klein knew “for a fact” that Jenny got out “all the time,” but Klein didn’t immediately call police Oct. 15 because she didn’t want to get a ticket.

“She’s a negligent pet owner,” Wilks said.

Klein also called police twice in 2001 to complain about other dogs running at large, Wilks said.

“Our dog deserved to get picked up, but she didn’t deserve to be shot,” Klein said Monday. “He should stay on the subject.”

A New Castle police officer shot and killed Klein’s dog after Silt police would not take the black Lab in their pound because they determined she was vicious, according to police reports.

Wilks said a New Castle officer shot Jenny in a field north of Silt after repeated attempts to control the dog failed, and the dog charged at him.

Wilks said the dog’s only identification was an out-of-date rabies tag, and the officers couldn’t find out who her owner was.

The officer involved in the shooting is “pretty shaken up,” Wilks said, after the Post Independent reported the incident Monday.

Wilks said the police received numerous calls Monday from people and organizations who objected to the shooting, and from others who supported the action.

“We have citizens on our side,” Wilks said.

Signed complaints against Jenny started on April 7, Wilks said. That’s when New Castle police issued Klein a citation for a barking dog. Police also warned Klein for not having proof of vaccination or registration for her dog.

On June 10, a judge issued a bench warrant for Klein because the citation was not paid, Wilks said.

On Sept. 17, police issued Klein a failure-to-appear citation for the unpaid fine, and again warned Klein her dog needed to be vaccinated and registered, Wilks said.

“I don’t remember that,” Klein said. “In my heart of hearts, I thought the dog was caught up on her registration and vaccination.”

Klein said she urged her son, Jordan, to write a letter to the editor about the shooting last week, as a way for the family to get on with their lives after the shooting.

The letter was also written as a reminder for the New Castle police to stop and think about what they are doing when they pick up a dog, Klein said.

Wilks said the New Castle police department goes out of its way to make sure unclaimed dogs are not killed after they get picked up and taken to a pound. At the same time, the police department has not changed its policy toward vicious dogs that can’t be reunited with their owners.

Wilks said the police would handle a case similar to Jenny’s “the exact same way.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534


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