INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indy dog owner is irate after the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shot and killed his beloved pooch in his own backyard.
According to police reports, two pit bulls began fighting in Kent Hickson's backyard. Hickson is a dog trainer who was fostering two dogs for Speedway Animal Rescue, and also has four dogs of his own. His friend, Whitney Knoy, was dog sitting and let the animals out in the yard without knowing they are usually kept separate.
“Sometimes dogs can have tiffs, and that's exactly what happened," said Joan Brown, the president of Speedway Animal Rescue and Knoy's mother, “My daughter screamed, tried to break them up, and got the dogs back in the house, the ones she could."
Neighbors saw Knoy covered in dog blood as she tried to break the two apart. They called police. When officers arrived and entered through the back gate, Knoy said she told them she was fine and not to hurt the dogs. Hickson had been notified and was on the way home to help.
“Dogs weren't strays running the streets, they are in here. The dogs were cornered in my yard," Hickson said.
Police reports said one officer used mace on two sets of dogs, including the pair that was fighting. One of the fighting dogs, Farm Dog, is Hickson's, while Sato is a foster from Speedway Animal Rescue. IMPD said Sato lunged at the officer after being maced. The animal was shot once before running away. The report said Farm Dog also lunged at the officer, and was fatally shot twice.
“If he's talking about Farm Dog, that dog is no person aggressive, ever," Hickson said, "He would run from you before he would attack you.”
"Dogs don't view it as a gun, they view it as a dark object being held above their head," Brown said, "That's very intimidating."
Farm Dog died in the backyard, while Sato is having costly emergency surgery. The rescue center raised $1,300 overnight for the procedure.
"If you're dog sitting, if you're caring for a dog, make sure you get everything down in writing, so you know what to do," Brown said, “I don't think anyone is at fault here, I think it's a horrible situation."
Hickson believes the situation could have been handled differently. Both Brown and Hickson are calling the number of times Farm Dog was shot to be excessive. Hickson said it was four times, while the police report says twice. Speedway Animal Rescue plans to look into the situation further.