GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A woman’s dog has been injured after Grand Rapids Police shot it early Friday morning. The department says it charged an officer, prompting their response.
Officers responded to a call from a pedestrian at 2:15 a.m. about an aggressive dog on the loose on Kalamazoo Avenue SE south of Boston Street SE, said Sgt. Catherine Williams.
“When we arrived, the dog was still on scene, loose and pacing between four houses,” Williams said. “When officers tried to entice the dog, it charged.”
Dispatch attempted to contact the nearby homes, including the owner’s, but there was either no answer or the dog did not belong to them, she said.
The dog’s owner, Shequelle Robinson, was at work at the time of the incident. She was working third shift when a neighbor called her and told her that police were surrounding her home.
“We attempted a snare twice, but both times were unsuccessful,” Williams said. “The second time, the officer fell backwards onto the ground, dropping the snare and, from the ground, shot the dog from only a few feet away as it was charging him.”
The shots hit the dog, a five-year-old Pitbull named Youneek, in the face and chest.
Robinson’s neighbor told her over the phone that police shot her dog.
►GRPD published body cam video of the incident on their Facebook page. A warning, the video is graphic in nature. It can be watched here.
“When they finally brought her to me, I thought she was dead,” said Robinson. “She's in pretty bad condition. Her leg has to be amputated now.”
The dog was found at a nearby home around 4 p.m. on Friday and taken to the emergency vet. Animal Control was called, and they were able to snare the injured dog.
Youneek is not an aggressive dog, said Savonna Brown, a neighbor who witnessed the incident.
“[The officer] was flashing [a light] and it got her attention, and she realized he was moving towards her,” Brown said. “That’s when she came towards him. And then she got on the other side of the street and that’s when he shot towards her.”
Robinson was cited for allowing a dog to run at large, Williams said.
Youneek received medical care in Grand Rapids before she was transferred to another facility for additional treatment -- including an amputation.
The medical bills, already surpassing $2,000, have been mostly covered by Michele Schaut, who runs the nonprofit Michele’s Rescue. Michele’s Rescue established a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Youneek’s medical care.
“She’s a disabled dog now that we have to attend to,” said Robinson, a single mother of six. “So I don’t know what the other expenses are going to be.”
The police need to pay for what they did, she said.
“It was not justifiable for them to shoot her when she’s on her own property,” Robinson said. “I want justice for my dog.”
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