Skip to comments.Off-duty police officer shoots family's 'big softie' dog in front of 12-year-old owner
Posted on 07/09/2013 10:37:24 PM PDT by Altariel
An off duty police officer has shot his neighbour's dog dead in front of it's 12-year-old owner, after it allegedly attacked him and his wife.
The Fitzhenry family, from Harris County, Texas, say their beloved boxer dog, Gunner - who they described as a big softie - was shot by the off-duty Houston police officer on Friday along a pathway.
Houston Police Department Officer Mark Condon claims the four-year-old dog charged at him and his wife, after it escaped from the Fitzhenry's garden by accident.
But according to 12-year-old Dalton Fitzhenry, who family say treated the dog like a brother, the pet had only wanted to play.
The Fitzhenry family, from Harris County, say their beloved boxer dog, Gunner, was shot by an off-duty Houston police officer on Friday along a pathway
They say the four-year-old dog escaped from their garden by accident after their children opened the gate and went to pick up a ball they had been playing with
Mr Condon, said: 'The dog charged us and attacked me, my wife and one of our dogs.'
He fired at the dog, striking it in the neck, Khoun.com reports.
He claim details of the injuries he, his wife, and dog suffered, have been recorded by police.
The Fitzhenrys said Gunner was one of the family and losing the animal was like 'losing an older brother' for their children. They now plan to lodge a formal complaint with HPD.
Dalton, 12, said the officer had shot the dog at point blank range. The animal died on the way to a vet.
He added: 'He just pulled it out, like, point-blank range and shot.
'Gunner didnt have the chance to run.'
Daltons parents said the boy was screaming and crying as he watched the ordeal.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
This cop is a menace.
Cops really need a remedial course on interpreting dog behavior along with laws to hold them criminally responsible for shooting same.
It is possible that this isn’t just another one of the many ‘cop shoots dog’ stories. It is possible that the dog actually did attack those people. And I know that if a large dog attacked a family member of mine, I would shoot it.
Cop: *bang*. It threatened me!
"The officer claims he fired at the dog, because it injured both himself and his wife, and also his dog. But according to 12-year-old Dalton Fitzhenry, the pet had only wanted to play."
Note the kid does not deny that the dog injured the other people and their dog. He is claiming the dogs intentions were misunderstood.
Sorry, but if a dog runs out, attacks, me, my wife and my dog and I have a gun, I am using that gun.
Take a look at the dog also, that does not look like a warm cuddly pup to me.
I am making no conclusions here, but right now I am leaning towards the cop.
one has to remember that a pit bull can be a big “softy” to its owners and kill the little girl next door. I don’t know what exactly happened here but if I was armed and a Boxer or any big dog attacked me, he is going to die.
I have been looking around at the various news archives here. Do you know that going back more than 10 years I cannot find a single incident of a Japanese cop shooting a dog? Not a single one. Zero.
Now, granted, Japanese do not usually go for big dogs — at least not in the cities — and overall gun ownership is very very low — although all police do carry them — but still...
These stories out of America are just coming too fast and furious to be happenstance. I wonder what the figures are for Canada, Mexico, or even Brazil. What the hell is going on????
There seems to be a lot of them lately. A couple years ago it was shark stories. Now it's cop bang dead dog.
I live in a neighborhood with lots of dogs and dog owners. I cannot tell you how many times some huge dog has lunged at me & my dog, foam spraying out of its mouth, while the owner is behind it claiming it’s “friendly.” I do not wish to hurt anyone’s dog, but if one bites me, all bets are off. I also reserve the right to protect myself BEFORE I get bit.
Well there’s another future fan of the police force.
Cops need to stay off private property.
I HATE it when cops or pseudo cops come on my property w/o a warrant or exigent circumstances.
As time progresses, trespass will not turn out well.
If there are no injuries to the cop, his family or dog then the cop seems guilty to me.
But right now he claims there are injuries which are recorded and no one has refuted the existence of that documentation YET.
The piece is naturally tragic - either an innocent dog was shot or an attacking dog was shot - it was still traumatic and the dog is dead.
The article seems crafted to slant (i.e., if it bleeds, it leads).
FOr example - the family may call the dog a Big Softy but all that tells us is that the dog was big and that it was kind to family members. If it did attack the other people and their pet - then it was not considered a Big SOfty by them. I was pinned against a fence by a “big softy” while it snarled and barked angrily and inched closer to me. The family laughed and said it was a big softy but had to fight to get it inside because it was so intent on threatening me it didn’t respond to any of their commands. They had to haul it in like they were dragging a log and I had to hope that the cheap leash and collar combo held.
They stress that the dog was shot in front of the child who loved it (and that sounds so cruel) - but that would happen if it were a genuine attack or if it were a cop over reacting. I am skeptical here because I doubt a cop would want to see the look on his family’s face if he shot someone’s dog for no reason.
The article notes that the kids accidentally let the dog out when retrieving a ball. Certainly this is innocent but is that all the restraint they put on their big dog? I mean the children are free to use that gate and children often do leave gates and doors open when they are playing so there’s apparently not much restraint on the dog to begin with. “He got out” is in almost every dog attack story I read. I’d need more info to know for sure who was at fault.
The kid says the cop just shot the dog at point blank range and that it didn’t have time to run. Unfortunately a dog would not know to run from a pointed gun - if it was at point blank range then it wasn’t leaving these people alone.
At present I doubt the cop shot a playing dog in front of his own family. If he did - then bust him but the fact that other creep cops have shot dogs without the need to do so doesn’t prove this one did so.
All cops are a menace.
Some just more lethally so.
Their pensions and benefit packages are on course to bankrupt many a municipality/county/state.
Giving union parasites a badge and a gun is just the second of two really bad ideas.
This happened last Friday. I would think that with this thing going viral, the police would have had gotten the documentation out there long before now.
Where is it?
cops shooting dogs stories are outpacing friendly pit bull kills someone stories.
I note that most serial killers started off torturing and killing animals...
So sad that you think that. I have been around Boxers all my life and I have a strong suspicion that the "it's OK, I'm a Cop" acted aggressive and threatening to Gunner before anything else. Boxers, above any other breed, are stalwart protectors of women and children. The pathway was not Gunners territory, so he would not have had an animal motivation to attack Officer Mark Condon's family.
If the policeman was injured, I want to see the photos of his wounds and I would also like to know if the policeman's dog was a pit bull or other breed known to be used as an attack dog.
Might be a tie?
Maybe it happens, but I don’t ever recall hearing about anybody but a cop shooting someone’s dog. Not once. Ever.
Houston Police Officer Shoots and Kills Family Dog in Front of Two Children
On the evening of Friday, July 5, 2013 off-duty Houston police officer Mark Condon shot and killed a beloved family dog that belonged to his neighbor in front of two children.
Gunner was a family pet whose only mistake was following one of his little boys and a neighborhood friend into an open field adjacent to their home to retrieve a ball that had gone over the fence. Officer Condon, his wife, and dogs were taking a walk. Gunner spotted them, approached,and sniffed Officer Condons dogs. This startled" his wife, who reportedly tripped and fell but was not injured. After the boys retrieved their ball, they called for Gunner, who started to head back with the boys. Officer Condon then drew his weapon and shot Gunner once in the neck. The boys, aged 12 and younger, were standing only about 15 feet away. They ran inside the house to get the boys mother, screaming and crying that Gunner had been shot.
Gunner died in their arms on the way to the vets office. Gunner was a sweet, goofy and friendly Boxer who loved everybody, especially the boys. No one was injured except for Gunner, who paid the ultimate price.
PLEASE HELP DEMAND JUSTICE FOR GUNNER. HPD must hold their officer responsible for his reckless, cruel, and inexcusable behavior!
What a frikkin’ coward. He shouldn’t be allowed near a firearm if all he knows how to do is shoot everything.
Again I’m amazed at the ‘bravery/skill’ of the U.S. mail carrier who do their jobs, encountering dogs of all kinds everyday, without resorting to deadly force. How do they do it?? Maybe the police should do some ‘ride-alongs’ with the mail-person and learn how to deal with canines in a non-fatal fashion. BTW, my brother is a police officer of nearly 20 years, has dealt with a few aggressive dogs during that period, never has shot one. He uses some ‘amazing’ product called .......pepper spray.
“If the policeman was injured, I want to see the photos of his wounds and I would also like to know if the policeman’s dog was a pit bull or other breed known to be used as an attack dog.”
Same. I am also a fan and owner of Boxers.
I can definitely see a Boxer running full speed at them, barking and throwing front body down, butt in the air and barking away. Maybe jumping up and down a little and back to butt in the air and front of body low.
Generally speaking, I have a hard time believing a Boxer bit someone. Pawed, maybe...biting, not so much. There are some dogs that aren’t quite right no matter the breed, so it is possible.
For the ping list.
What I’ve been told by more than one mail carrier is they have a fantastic technology that allows them to deal safely and easily with most dogs...it’s called “milk bones”. Seems most dogs are quite readily trained to like and cheerfully anticipate the arrival of a friend who gives them a yummy treat.
It’s a damn shame boys can’t run around with their dog nowadays. It says the dog was going back to the boys.
I guess princess skinned her knee and the only way that cop could be a man was through his gun. With young boys FIFTEEN foot away from his target! JACKASS!
50 more signatures in the last 2 hours or so.
Mexicans have dogs all over not on leashes. Are cops shooting them? Anyone out there know? I say the cops are sadists that love making little children cry.
One of these days...one of these cops trying to shoot an unarmed dog is going to experience some major brain splatter from a POed owner...and a jury will go sympathetic for the owner
I know LEOs are now trained to shoot dogs because the drug dealers use them to attack and protect dealers...but LEOs just willy nilly shooting dogs is getting to be way too much
The cop supposedly showed the “injuries” to a constable. Trust me, it’s a thin blue line.
I travel with my dogs. I never break the speed limit but I’m still scared to death some cop is going to stop me and shoot my dogs. He’ll probably have to shoot me afterwards. By the way, my dogs are 12 and 16 pounds.
Yep. And some training in how to keep dogs apart.
When I was a kid, I saw a boxer run after my sister and bite her leg, drawing lots of blood. People need to teach their dogs restraint, i.e. not leaving the yard or stopping on command. Not sure the cop needed lethal force, however.
Several weeks ago a guy came to our door selling something. My 85 lb lab got past me and ran out to him. She promptly sat down next to him looking up and wagging her tail. When he ignored her and continued his spiel she finally barked at him until he petted her. Great guard dog she is. ... sigh
But if that has been this cop, she would probably be dead, he would probably be dead, and I’d be in custody.
He claims that "all three of us sustained injuries from the attack, which were documented by the Precinct 4 Constables' Office."
He also claims that "there were no children around when I fired the shot, and it was not in the direction of any people or houses."
“What Ive been told by more than one mail carrier is they have a fantastic technology that allows them to deal safely and easily with most dogs...its called milk bones. Seems most dogs are quite readily trained to like and cheerfully anticipate the arrival of a friend who gives them a yummy treat.”
EXACTLY. I am a former Mail Carrier. It’s true.
I have never ‘carried’ a gun around with me in my 50 years. (I own some but don’t carry) NEVER have I ever thought I had to shoot a menacing dog. Never. I am a MAN; it is a dumb ANIMAL. I’ve thought of kicking one in the teeth at times...
What is it with cops -that every 3rd day we’re reading ANOTHER “cop shoots family dog...” story???
Unless it’s a trained attack pit bull or fight dog, this is outrageous.
Was this a gun free zone? Is discharging a firearm in public a crime? Did he endanger the lives of people/children nearby? Did he recklessly destroy someone’s property? Was he trespassing?
There are laws against this sort of behavior.
Again Im amazed at the bravery/skill of the U.S. mail carrier who do their jobs, encountering dogs of all kinds everyday, without resorting to deadly force.
My father-in-law (RIP) was a carrier in the greater Boston area. He once shut a whole block off until the dog was restrained. It is amazing what peer pressure will do for irresponsible dog owners.
He once heard a noise and turned around quickly enough to see the dog in mid-air leaping toward him. The dog hadn’t barked or growled, just launched. One USPS-issue boot under the chin and he left the dog lying on the front porch as he continued his rounds. Told me that address was not a problem again.
Yeah, carriers put up with a lot...
He claim details of the injuries he, his wife, and dog suffered, have been recorded by police.
Maybe Japanese cops carry a pork chop around with them for just those situations. (snicker)
Time to start Steroid Testing for LEO’s.
Id like to make two point here:
1). Dont these officers also carry pepper spray? Why dont they use that instead when their trigger finger gets itchy?
2). Studies have shown that children who abuse animals grow up to abuse humans. How long before the shooting of people becomes much more frequent? If the person shows up dead, there will most likely be only one side to the story the LEOs.
"Freemansburg police Chief George Bruneio arrived at the rear of 440 New St. at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, just in time to see officer Robert Lasso, a Taser in his hand, fighting two dogs, according to court papers.
Bruneio implored Lasso to shoot the dogs, but the next sound Bruneio heard was a gunshot and he watched Lasso fall to the ground. Bruneio then saw George Hitcho holding a shotgun with an expended shell jammed in its ejector port, police said.
Hitcho refused Bruneio's orders to drop his weapon, according to court papers, instead telling the chief, "He's breaking into my house." Hitcho then dropped the shotgun and Bruneio cuffed him and put him in a police cruiser before returning to aid Lasso.
Bruneio told Pennsylvania State Police at Belfast, who are investigating Lasso's murder, that Lasso had a head wound and what he described as shattered glass near the fallen officer.
Lasso was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill less than a hour later. Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled the death a homicide.
According to court papers, Lasso was dispatched to 126 Washington St. at 5:06 p.m. for a disturbance. That address is separated from the rear of Hitcho's property by an alley, Peach Street. Lasso asked for assistance minutes later because he was being attacked by Hitcho's dogs, and Bruneio came to back him up, police said.
State police took Hitcho to the Belfast barracks, where he allegedly made several unsolicited comments.
According to court papers, Hitcho said the following:
"I told him to get off my property."
"He ain't coming on my property without a warrant."
"He tried to kill my dogs and pointed a gun in my face."
"I do not care if you are a cop or not."
Produce the documentation of the claimed injuries.
We have an extremely well trained and even more loyal lab (4 years old). I kick myself for not having trained this family pet to hunt or service. She is pretty incredible. I send her out to find our kids in the neighborhood for dinner. We are her pack and she is friendly (and obedient) to all. All my neighbors know and love her. She is rarely distracted when we are playing or training. We often take her to nursing homes and sometimes hospitals because she is so well mannered...... Good Dog!
EXCEPT.... There have been two very explainable incidents. She is VERY loyal to her pack and protective of them, ESPECIALLY when the Alpha Male is not around (Me).
1) She hates the next door neighbor's dog. She plays great with 4 other dogs in our court. The neighbors dog attacked her a couple years ago and goes to the bathroom in our front yard. She will go after that dog IF it comes into our yard. Otherwise, she sits at the edge of the property line and growls a low and ugly guttural growl.
2) A door to door salesman yelled at my 5 year old son, playing in the front yard. My son was hitting wiffle balls in an imaginary game he had going all by himself. Apparently, my son pulled one hard and almost hit some guy going door to door selling cable/phone/internet. As my wife explained (from eye witness neighbor), he approached my son, waving a finger and yelling at him. My lab blew through the screen door from inside the house where she had been sitting and watching out the front screen door, over the porch and charged barking ferociously. Apparently she stopped at the end of the driveway as the salesman did a mad 50-yard dash across and down the street. I got to replace the lower screen in our storm door.
Moral of the story? Dogs are animals. Even the best dog is still an animal and they don't have the ability to explain themselves. It is often up to the home owners to protect them from themselves. It easy to immediately blame the cop. But it is not always easy to interpret "what kind of a dog" each is. I'm sure that salesman is convinced we own a vicious animal. Had the salesman been an off duty police officer walking through the neighborhood (and acted the same way), my dog would likely have been shot as she tried to defend a member of her pack.
Here’s the problem as I see it. The facts of each case are inevitably going to differ. But the problem is cultural.
In baseball culture it’s considered OK to scratch, spit and chew.
In Japanese culture it’s considered polite to bow.
In college fraternity culture drinking (even to excess) is considered cool.
In airline pilot culture it’s normal to speak in a Chuck Yeager drawl.
In cop culture, they are supposed to shoot dogs.
To me this is the real issue.
It’s time for these thugs with badges to start disappearing.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.