Followup: West Seattle dogs shot by police had animal-control history

(Wednesday photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Following up on Wednesday’s 44th SW incident involving two dogs shot by police responding to a domestic-violence call, we had a few questions for the Seattle Animal Shelter. Regarding the dogs’ breed, SAS director Don Jordan told WSB, “DOA dog = Lab. Injured dog = Bulldog mix. These match the licenses we have on file.” Had his officers dealt with them before? “Slight history of welfare checks, leash-law violations, and menacing behavior,” replied Jordan: “Citation for LLV + Menacing in 2008. Eight impounds between these two dogs in 2008 and 2009.” We also asked about the condition of the surviving dog. According to Jordan, it was “stabilized at West Seattle Animal Hospital then transported to (a clinic) for overnight observation. We were putting the owner in contact with (the clinic) so they could determine what they wanted to do with the dogs leg – i.e. amputation, plates/screws or ultimately euthanasia.” The newest information from police, released last night, said the dogs were “on top of” the woman they ultimately arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and that they charged the officer who opened fire.

38 Replies to "Followup: West Seattle dogs shot by police had animal-control history"

  • JoB January 13, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    these dogs were impounded 8 times in two years…
    and still returned to their negligent owners :(

  • Kimberley January 13, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    In a case like this, who has to foot the vet bill?

  • mz January 13, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    I remember the yellow lab barking outside a lot when the owner either wasn’t home or just left the dog outside in the rain. The dog would scratch at the door trying to get inside. I also think that was the same dog I heard outside the night before playing in the snow with the female resident. They have not been good owners of those animals. I hope the other dog is saved and put into another home.

  • Scar January 13, 2011 (2:14 pm)

    Irresponsible, despicable people. Please take the dog away and give it to a good home.

  • sj January 13, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    About the dogs being ‘on top’ of the woman, I would be interested in knowing if the dogs were attacking the abuser at the time and that is why she was screaming? Sounds like a desperate situation for all involved.

  • on board January 13, 2011 (2:33 pm)

    They shouldn’t license pets, they need to license pet owners.

  • Mookie January 13, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    Wow. I don’t understand how there were eight impound incidents with these two dogs in two damn years and they still were with the owners. At what point does the city decide that the safety and quality of life for these animals—as well as the safety of their neighbors—take precedence??! After at least the $1200 in citations and impound fees? After they go from menacing, to biting someone or (charging police officers)? Is SAS unable to legally do much besides catch-and-return, with fines and citations, unless the dogs get classified as “dangerous”? If so, what exactly does that take?

    I feel bad for these dogs–it sounds like their history included documented neglect and mistreatment. I feel worse that pet owners like this are allowed to keep on keepin’ on.

  • Suzanne January 13, 2011 (2:49 pm)

    And where is everyone who blamed the police yesterday for overreacting????

  • old timer January 13, 2011 (2:51 pm)

    you have to remember Mookie, in this town, dogs are sacred;
    their owners are the intermediary priests.
    You mess with this religion at great risk.

  • KBear January 13, 2011 (3:15 pm)

    “And where is everyone who blamed the police yesterday for overreacting????”

    I’m sure they’ll be here soon.

  • MB January 13, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    A lab and a bulldog mix huh…interesting. My Dad may have been on to something all those times he told me I shouldn’t assume…

  • Dog owner January 13, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    For those of you who are negating the fear and the questions dog owners have of this shooting it’s a sad reflection upon yourselves. People have a right not to expect their family members/property to be shot when that family member/property is protecting it’s home. If I had a life threatening situation I would hope that an officer would be sensitive enough to understand that my dog is doing what it institutionally knows to do and would take the appropriate measures to keep my family member/property safe from any further trauma. There are ways to handle a dog that are not deadly, such as pepper spray, the long pole, or even a retractable baton. This current SPD force seems to be using deadly force as a first option rather than last.
    This does not mean that I put an officers safety second, most of these officers are really good people so one would think they too have a problem with killing a beloved pet. There needs to be further training or some sort of guidelines for these officers. Seattle has more dogs than children, you would think the SPD would see the need to address the situation. Dogs in this country are considered by most people to be family members.

  • justme January 13, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    I live right on this street. From direct experience with these neighbors and with these poor dogs they were neglected and abused. They were never held in their yard like they were suppose to be either. I believe this is a case of depressed unhappy animals finally having their say. Poor things. Abusive alcoholics shouldn’t even own dogs. They make terrible pet owners.

  • Cclarue January 13, 2011 (4:18 pm)

    Yesterday I said The owners are at fault.owning a dog is like having a two year old child for life. You can not expect them to rationalize. Whatever they do you as the parent / owner are responsible. Period . And you have to protect them from themselves all the time. Period. Their humans are setting them up to fail so shame on their humans not the police.

  • Baba January 13, 2011 (4:22 pm)

    I really don’t understand this – always blame and hate the police first – public response, whenever something questionable happens. Why do so many people feel this way?
    At least , have some decency and apologize now.
    PS: And I’m in no way affiliated with any police department.

  • natinstl January 13, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    Baba-Maybe it’s because it seems as if the Seattle Police are either shooting a person or animal dead lately. After the whole woodcarver incident I’m afraid of the police.

  • SB January 13, 2011 (4:45 pm)

    Suzanne – Some of us value ALL life and think the Police should not use lethal force unless there is no other alternative. Maybe you don’t agree, but we still have the right as tax-paying citizens to voice our opinion. I admire and value the Police, but I do feel that there has been an excessive use of lethal force (on dogs and human beings) lately. We have the right as citizens to challenge that and ask that the Police review internal policies and be accountable for their actions…and to vent our frustrations on the Blog just like you do. Saying that people who disagree with the Police aren’t deserving of their Protection (your post from yesterday) is just wrong! It is my constitutional right to speak out against my government (including officials like the police) when I think they are overreaching. You don’t have the right to tell me that I am no longer worthy of their protection! I’m grateful to live in a country where I can challenge those in power and still be protected…I just hope that protection only involves lethal force when there is no other option! Based on recent events, I am not sure that would be the case.

  • Dog owner January 13, 2011 (4:52 pm)

    Baba-if your referring to my comment I suggest you go back and read it again. There is enough blame to go around however, as citizens we have the right to expect our family members/property not to be killed or destroyed. We live in a country where both are protected. We feel this way because we are citizens who pay the salaries of peace officers. We would like to see SPD set up training so that when officers are interacting with dogs they do so in a manner that is safe not only for them but for our family members/property. it’s a win win for all involved.

  • Wednesday January 13, 2011 (5:21 pm)

    Bravo SB! Why can’t the police carry net guns. Seems to me that would’ve worked on the wood carver too (since he was so threatening and all).

  • JN January 13, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    Hey, guess what, police officers AREN’T ANIMAL CONTROL!! Unless you would like them paid for essentially having to do two jobs. Plus, I do not accept the explanation “OH, don’t worry about my dog trying to bite your ankles/arm/torso, he’s only playing! Don’t you have any experience with dogs?”. Please. Don’t patronize us “dog-ignorant” people, if a dog is barking aggressively, then we consider that dog to be a danger. And if I had a gun, and a dog came running at me barking, I would most likely shoot it, as well.

  • Baba January 13, 2011 (5:35 pm)

    @ natinstl and SB, I did not want to bring woodcarvers shooting death in my above post, for the thread jacking censorship reason.
    I do believe that woodcarvers death was(allegedly) an error in judgement by police… Just (allegedly) one bad apple. Yes, the system is not perfect.
    There are hundreds of cases SPD is involved in daily. Do you have any other examples of police brutality and excessive force use?

  • Baba January 13, 2011 (6:04 pm)

    …We would like to see SPD set up training so that when officers are interacting with dogs they do so in a manner that is safe not only for them but for our family members/property. it’s a win win for all involved…
    OMG! Enumclaw is awesome! Here I come…

  • SG January 13, 2011 (6:34 pm)

    I’m not leaning one way or the other when it comes to generalizing cases and situations like these. There isn’t a single right answer for 100% (or even a majority) of police vs dog situations.
    IMHO the officers have acted accordingly in the 2 recent posts and I have absolutely no complaints. People who claim that officers need to carry around methods for other protection may have a point, but the fact remains that officers involved did not have net guns and when faced with a big violent dog they did what they had to so they didn’t get attacked. They didn’t act outside of professional decorum in any way.
    Bottom line, it was the owners responsibility to raise and train well-behaved dogs, which, given the track record (on this case) they evidently were not. Very sad all around.

  • PDieter January 13, 2011 (6:38 pm)


    for future reference…the last six words are ambiguous (i.g. what did they charge the officer with and when is the first court appearance?) ;)

  • DMC January 13, 2011 (7:23 pm)

    Due to recent budget constraints its probably not realistic to think that specialized training for the handling of aggressive dogs will be given. If people have such strong feeling about how their tax payer money is being spent in regard to law enforcement then maybe they should petition for such things. I’ll be waiting for the petitioners with clipboards to be scouring the streets in response….I would hope that all the dog’s saviors will have a good explanation as to why they would be wasting my time and money. I wouldn’t want to see more police cuts due to aggressive dog training.

  • 3dogslater January 13, 2011 (7:36 pm)

    What will become of all of this and the dog that lived? Please don’t kill that dog …re-home it and charge the owner’s of the 2 dogs so they can’t have a dog again sad story for the dogs…care less about the owners.

  • Sara January 13, 2011 (7:50 pm)


  • JoB January 13, 2011 (9:03 pm)

    the dog’s owner gets to decide what happens to the dog:(
    somehow i suspect they aren’t going to step up for large vet bills…
    so unless they surrender the animal
    it is likely to be euthanized:(

  • Other Case History January 13, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    Thanks WSB for providing the animal control history. This is fascinating information. Do you, by chance, have the animal control background for the other two dogs that were shot at a couple of weeks ago? This would be really interesting to know about. Thanks.

  • mitch January 13, 2011 (9:44 pm)

    Side B:
    2 cops respond to a domestic violence call and find 2 vicious men on top of, and attacking, a bloodied woman. The men immediately turn on the cops with the intent of ripping their throats out, sort of like some dogs, and the cops rightfully shoot them. No one would question the cultural or person circumstances leading to the attack because cops and people are a lot more important than dogs, and several thousand generations evolved as well. In my opinion, any serious threat or harm to a human should be a death sentence. They’re dogs, not kids.

  • NotMe January 13, 2011 (10:37 pm)

    So, it seems we may have found God, and he is called, “mitch.” As we can see here, “mitch” has now decided that “any serious thread or harm to a human” now constitutes the ok on ending life.
    Well, I can sleep better now knowing there are people like that around all of us. Good night, mitch. Thanks for a job well done.

  • lul ^^^ January 13, 2011 (11:21 pm)

    I think it’s funny how you ALL seem to “know” the story when I’ve lived it, been there and know the people involved. Goes to show what a kind neighborhood I live in.

  • WSB January 14, 2011 (12:06 am)

    To ‘Other Case History’ – In this case, since the incident involved only one address, and Seattle Animal Shelter officers, I was able to ask SAS about the history, ID, etc. If you recall from our stories, in the other case, the dogs’ two encounters with police were not at their home, and SAS officers were not involved as they were off for the 12/31 holiday. So documentation is not nearly as simple to trace, but I haven’t given up, since questions remain in that case – TR

  • sherry January 14, 2011 (2:45 am)


  • miws January 14, 2011 (7:44 am)

    I believe, somewhere in Internet Etiquette (Netiquette) it states that one shall not use ALL CAPS within the entirety of thine post, lest one appear to be SHOUTING.



  • neighbor January 14, 2011 (8:47 am)

    Sara must not live in this neighborhood. I don’t doubt that the dogs were loved, but the owners are not equipped to take care of any animals. They have also had cats that they neglected. The dogs were left for days in the back yard to bark and fight with each other and were constantly getting out wildly running the neighborhood. They had never been socialized and the owners could not control them.

  • DogTrainerVolunteer January 14, 2011 (11:24 am)

    Dog breeds do NOT mean everything, just because it’s a bulldog doesn’t mean is a killer dog, 100% blame on the owners.

  • SG January 14, 2011 (5:44 pm)

    @Sherry Why are you shouting? I think the bible also suggests we don’t use all caps to get our point across. Yeesh.

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