A Caldwell police officer shot a woman’s dog on Aug. 18 after it ran out the front door of her house at him.
Alinah Stelly had left the door ajar while she went to get her sister, Crystal Holden, who was wanted by police on a warrant. Stelly has said the officer could have used nonlethal force to stop the dog.
Police Thursday morning released videos of the shooting from officers’ body cameras. They show:
An officer talks to Stelly at the front door. The officer tells her he needs to speak to Holden. She leaves the door ajar, and he pushes it farther open to get a better view inside the house.
About 30 seconds after she leaves the door, a dog begins to bark loudly inside the house and comes down the stairs to the front door. A few seconds after that, the officer at the front door pulls out his baton and says, “Get back dog.”
The dog steps back but then slips out the door, past that officer, toward another policeman. The 85-pound German shepherd-pitbull mix runs aggressively and appears to lunge at the second officer, who shoots the dog once in the head while backing up and saying, “Get back.”
Later, as the officer who shot the dog is looking for the shell casing, he can be heard telling another officer, “I was almost shooting my own damn feet, that thing was right at me. Scared the crap out of me.”
Police said Stelly could be cited for vicious animal at large.
After seeing the video, Stelly, who said she is considering filing a lawsuit, believes her dog wouldn’t have been shot if the first officer hadn’t pushed the door open.
“I would have had more control of him and put him in the kennel,” she said.