Couple claims Houston officers shot family pet
A couple has filed suit against the Houston police and two officers for allegedly shooting the family's pet.
Wesley Jones and Aisling Jones filed a complaint Sept. 23 in Galveston County District Court against the City of Houston, a municipal corporation, Police Chief Charles McClelland, officer Adrian Lopez and officer Saul Delacruz individually and officially, citing negligence and malicious intent.
According to the complaint, officers Lopez and Delacruz went to the plaintiffs' home at 1339 Tulane St. in Houston on Oct. 19, 2012, to respond to a disturbance call made by a neighbor. The plaintiffs allege that as the officers approached the home, their dog Boss barked to alert their approach. According to the complaint, both officers then drew their weapons and fired at Boss, the family's pet of 8 years.
The plaintiffs state that Boss made no aggressive move toward the officers. When the initial shots were fired, Boss was allegedly still inside the home and the officers fired over the threshold of the home and hit Boss. According to the report filed, Boss then ran around to the side of the home to his toys and the officers chased him down and proceeded to continue to shoot. Boss bled to death due to several gunshot wounds, the suit states.
Current Houston Police Department policies state that the on-duty supervisor attends to the investigation when a dog is shot by an officer. Prior to March 25, 2007, all discharges of a firearm were investigated by the Internal Affairs Division, but that procedure has changed to save time and money. The plaintiffs filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department who ruled the shooting of Boss was justified.
The plaintiffs seek damages due to mental anguish, property damage, and court costs.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Mark A. Morasch and David J. Batton of Houston.
Galveston County District Court case number: 4:14-CV-02728