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Video of man confronting police after they shot his dog goes viral; shooting sparks large protest

P8010053_thumb By Tamara | July 02, 2014 | Comments (3)

During a search for a lost child, a Salt Lake City police officer went into Sean Kendall's backyard and shot his Weimaraner, Geist. Sean got a phone call giving him the terrible news. He quickly drove home and filmed his exchange with police. Raw with emotion, Sean questions why the officer shot his dog.  At one point, he shouts, "There’s a problem of officers killing dogs for no reason. If you look online, it’s everywhere!"

The video he filmed was posted to YouTube by the Salt Lake City Tribune and has gone viral. A Facebook page set up for Justice of Geist is growing and a large rally was held on Saturday. Hundreds of people and pets rallied outside Salt Lake City police headquarters to show support for Sean and to call for changes to how officers handle pets they deem aggressive.  

At the rally, Sean said, "It’s overwhelming, the support of the community. That makes the loss of my best friend a little bit easier to deal with."

Geist’s shooting has ignited debate in the city and nationally about how law enforcement handles pets that behave aggressively and whether police have adequate training and preparation for dog-related encounters.

Sean's supporters voiced was that they would like to see the officer who shot Geist held accountable and that officers get proper training on how to control pets without the use of a firearm. Many people told the Salt Lake City Tribune that they were disappointed at those dog lovers threatening police harm as it detracts from finding a peaceful, productive resolution between both sides. 

Warning: Video contains strong language. 

A petition in support of Justice for Geist has been posted here.

View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare

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Comments on this Article

This is unbelievable and so heart breaking. The way they stood there so smug, like it meant nothing. My baby stays inside I can't trust anyone. My dearest condolences for the loss of your dear mate.
I don't think that there is any dog guardian out there that is not afraid of this scenario happening to them. There isn't one of us that wouldn't ask the question if this happened to us " couldn't you have found a way without using lethal force?" More and more police forces have started to put their Officers through mandatory training in how to understand dog behavior. I think that the problem here resides with a protocol that is to generalized and needs to have more than one step before lethal force is used. For example, does the emergency warrant going onto private property where a dog is present? Certainly a child that is missing is something to be taken seriously, but if no foul play is immediately evident, than perhaps a containment protocol might be in order until the property can be safely searched. I know that there are a lot of possible scenarios that will involve different approaches but I think that we can all agree that the protocol that stands failed the police, failed the community, and most of all failed Geist. If there are people out there that have survived a bear attack unscathed by using bear spray, one has to think that there must be an effective way to repel a dog without lethal force. Sean Kendall, you have my sincere condolences for your tragic loss of your dog Geist.
Sue the crap out of the Salt Lake City Police Dept. and make it to where their afraid to go on anybody's property and shoot their animals. They shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun if they don't know when to use one and when NOT to use one.
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