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Service dog shot, killed after Pueblo police respond to 911 call - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Service dog shot, killed after Pueblo police respond to 911 call

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It's the last thing Leslie Hanson could have imagined would happen, after calling the police for help last week.

"I was at this yard running from behind, screaming 'stop that's my service dog,' and they still proceeded to shoot," the Pueblo resident recalled.

Hanson and her boyfriend had called 911 early Friday morning, because they thought someone was trying to break into their home.  It turned out to be their neighbor, who police say was under the influence of narcotics.

Hanson and her boyfriend said he was falling over and knocking into things in their yard, and appeared very disoriented.

The man's step-dad tells News5 he feels guilty for what happened once police arrived on scene.

"I have to live with that.  Somebody got taken out for no reason," said neighbor Don Olson.

He's referring to Hanson's service dog, 2-year-old Crios, who managed to get through several unlocked gates during all the commotion.

In a facebook post put out by Pueblo Police Monday, they say Crios charged the officer, forcing him to fire several rounds at the dog, in order to protect himself from serious injury.

Hanson says Crios walked toward the officer, but never charged him.  

She says a "Beware of Dog" sign is displayed on her fence not because her dog is aggressive, but to scare potential burglars away.

"I could take him anywhere--the park, Lowe's, the stores--people loved him," she said.

Hanson says the officer shot her dog a total of seven times.  

Her neighbor, who witnessed the shooting, says police wouldn't initially allow Hanson's boyfriend to leave the scene, to take Crios to the animal hospital.

"They would not let him go.  The dog I think would have been all right, but he bled to death," said Olson.

Hanson says she's not looking to sue the department, but is pushing for better training when it comes to handling pets while on duty.

"He didn't have to shoot seven times.  He could have used pepper spray, tased him--even shooting him once.  I could have lived with just about anything, but I can't live with this."

The Pueblo Police Department said in a facebook post Monday that officers receive training called "Canine Encounters" and that lethal force is a last resort.

Hanson is in the process of trying to get a copy of the body cam footage.

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