Susan Luzzaro 9:45 p.m., June 18
Group questions decision by Sheriff's deputies to kill dog while serving warrant
A local animal rights group is questioning the shooting of a pit bull mix in Ramona earlier this month by San Diego Sheriff’s deputies upon their arrival at a home on the 15700 block of Brandiron Street.
According to Detective Lori-Ann Wells, as cited in the Ramona Patch on December 5, deputies received a call regarding a suspicious person shortly before 8 a.m. and, on responding, were attacked by the dog and forced to kill it. While on site, they arrested 24 year-old Jared Smith on an outstanding felony warrant for assault with a deadly weapon. Smith also faces numerous other charges.
A second Patch report from the 7th seems to suggest that the deputies instead were attacked while serving the warrant. A call to the Sheriff’s media department has been placed seeking clarification regarding the incident, and this post will be updated as better information becomes available.
Brianna Fox, Smith’s ex-girlfriend and the dog’s co-owner, says that the two year-old dog, Jimbo, was not acting aggressive toward deputies, and that he had a tennis ball in his mouth, contrasting law enforcement’s story that he had attacked.
A veterinarian, upon examining the dog, said it had been shot at least five times.
The San Diego Animal Defense Team, a group that has been involved in actions throughout the county to shut down “puppy mill” breeding facilities and the pet stores that are alleged to buy from them, has called for “a complete investigation” into the shooting.
“If the Deputy was afraid of the dog, we ask why a less lethal tactic was not used. Brianna Fox . . . reports Jimbo did not provoke the shooting in any way, but was in fact carrying a tennis ball in his mouth at the time he was shot five times,” says Zola Rices Muhammad, a Defense Team activist. “We also request a clarification of the Sheriff Department's policy on handling dogs in situations like this.”