A police officer who shot a family's dog in their Hollywood apartment feared for his safety when confronted by the "aggressive" animal, the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday, when the pet was taken for further treatment at a vet hospital.
The incident occurred before dawn on Saturday, March 24, in the 5800 block of Willoughby Avenue, where a report of shots fired summoned officers, according to LAPD.
Brett Kerby and Norma Lopez say they heard shots and found a wounded man. They called police, who responded and questioned them about the shooting.
While officers were "clearing" the apartment building, one officer was "confronted by an aggressive pit bull," LAPD stated.
"Fearing for his safety the officer fired one shot at the dog to stop him from biting," the police statement read.
The dog then ran into another room and returned again and tried to bite the officer, according to LAPD. Then the animal ran into a bathroom where was "secured" until an animal control officer arrived.
Kerby and Lopez say the shooting occurred in their apartment while they were being detained for several hours in the back of a police cruiser for questioning about the shooting.
Their 7-year-old daughter was among the family members nearby when the dog was shot.
A police officer told Lopez the dog had died after it "came at" one of the officers. She said she explained to their children the dog had died. But the animal – a female pit bull named Kush – remained alive in the bathroom, bleeding. Police said the dog taken to a "city shelter veterinarian" by the responding animal control officer.
"The veterinarian commented that treating dog has been difficult as he is showing signs of aggression to caregivers," LAPD stated.
Lopez described Kush as "obedient" and posted pictures of her being affectionate with family members including young children.
Kush requires additional medical care – including an operation to reconstruct her jaw – that the family cannot afford. They say they've been told the city may reimburse the costs, but they must pay up front.
We were sent a story today about a dog (Kush aka piggy)that was shot in the jaw, in her home, when police were in Hollywood looking for a shooter on Saturday. We will Post more videos from Brett and Norma in a bit but the most important thing to us was getting Kush out of the shelter and over to @asecla asap. You see the family couldn’t afford surgery. The shelter has a vet but they have very limited resources. We were on a mission to make this happen and within 2 hours we were at the shelter (Norma and Brett took the bus to get there since they don’t have a car) and we had an amazing volunteer from @ghettorescue help transport her to Asec. She is on her way there now. We paid the impound fees and we will pay for whatever she needs at Asec. There is rumor that LAPD will reimburse for this but not entirely sure how much and when(could take up to 6 months). We will keep you all up to speed in this. Huge thanks to the @ghettorescue team for helping us organize a plan. We love you guys ❤️
Police officers visited the family Wednesday to provide an update on the dog's condition and try to connect the family with animal welfare groups that may be able to help with medical costs.
On Thursday, an L.A. animal rescue group, A Purposeful Rescue, posted on social media that the Kush had been taken for treatment to a West L.A. veterinary hospital. Kerby and Lopez took the bus to South L.A. to meet the rescue group and retrieve Kush, aka Piggy.
"We were on a mission to make this happen and within 2 hours we were at the shelter ... and we had an amazing volunteer from (fellow animal rescue group Ghetto Rescue FFoundation) help transport her. ... She is on her way there now. We paid the impound fees and we will pay for whatever she needs," the post from A Purposeful Rescue stated.
Some situations in rescue punch you in the gut. This morning, after being sent the KTLA story about Kush being shot in the jaw by LAPD and taken to the shelter because the family couldn’t afford to take her to the hospital left us feeling completely sick. Here we have a family who loves their dog-a dog who got shot by the police for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time-and because they couldn’t afford to go to an emergency hospital had to have their family pet taken to the city shelter. We can’t help but wonder how many other people there are in these situations? These folks were smart and called the press-good on them! The word got out. We heard about it and quickly started to rally to put a plan in place. But how many others are in this type of situation on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? That is what frustrates us the most. The dogs sitting in shelters right now with loving families at home who couldn’t afford medical care for their animals. This is the reality we live with. It haunts us. We are happy to be in a position to help this family reunite with their dog. The fact that finances are the barrier between being able to reunite a pet or not is unacceptable to us. We will do whatever we can, always, to help folks with their animals. Right now, Kush is being discharged from ASEC to go home and rest with plenty of pain meds in tow. We scheduled a consult with Dr Tsugawa - a speciality dental surgeon (he’s amazing) on Monday to find out what needs to be done to fix her jaw. Her family is also in the middle of a housing crisis and have been staying with Norma’s Mom in Hollywood so we will also be helping them find a new place to live. If you would like to donate to their cause you click the link in our bio and in the memo write “for Kush” and once we get the estimate for surgery we will update that as well. So far we paid $165 for her redemption fee, the emergency visit at Asec (probably around $300),and $125 for crate and food. From our previous experience with dental surgeries we are probably looking at around 3-5k. Thanks so much you guys! We are always so grateful for your awesomeness ❤️
Kush was back home pending a consultation with a dental surgeon next week, A Purposeful Rescue stated.
Meanwhile, LAPD's Force Investigation Division is still investigating the dog's shooting.