Police settle with dog owner for fatal shooting. Police Settle With Dog Owner for Dog Shot
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Settlement Reached in Erie Dog Shooting

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lawyers with The Animal Law Center announce that a settlement has been reached in a dog shooting case, stemming from a 2011 incident in Erie, Colo.  The plaintiff and dog owner Brittany Moore accepted a financial settlement, while the Erie Police Department has implemented new, nonlethal training and equipment for dog encounters during police activities.

“This case has never been about the money,” says Moore, owner of Ava, a German Shepherd shot and killed by an Erie police officer on May 10, 2011 in her neighbor’s driveway. “I have spent the last four years working to make positive changes in police procedures that work to everyone’s benefit.”

Since the shooting, Moore has been an advocate and the public face for change in how police officers interact with dogs. She was a visible spokesperson for the Dog Protection Act, which in 2013 became law in Colorado. The legislation requires law enforcement officials across the state to undergo dog encounter training. Moore has also been featured on national television and in documentaries, raising awareness on the issue of police shooting dogs.

“Brittany has been steadfast in her determination to protect the public and their animals since she lost Ava,” said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of The Animal Law Center based in Englewood, Colo. “Because of Brittany’s efforts, the Erie Police Department has adopted new, nonlethal procedures for handling canines while conducting police business.”

Case Background

On May 10, 2011, Moore requested police protection due to a threatening phone call she received. Erie police officer Jamie Chester responded to the call but arrived at the wrong address several houses from Moore’s. When Moore saw Officer Chester in the street looking for her home, she went outside to greet him.  Moore’s two dogs, Ava and Ivy were in the front yard. As Officer Chester approached Moore’s home, Ivy and Ava, who was carrying a rawhide bone at the time, began walking towards the officer. According to witness statements, when Officer Chester saw the dogs coming toward him, he began to walk backwards around a parked car. That’s when witnesses say Officer Chester drew his gun and fired at Ava, mortally wounding her. Three witnesses to the shooting agreed that Ava did not show any aggressive behavior toward the officer at any time and still had the rawhide bone in her mouth when she was shot.

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