An officer with the Filer Police Department in Idaho is facing criticism after shooting a dog to death on Saturday.
Officer Tarek Hassani came to the home of pet owner Rick Clubb after receiving reports of multiple dogs running around the neighborhood, according to Magic Valley News.
Clubb was throwing his 9-year-old son a birthday party at the time of the incident. He believes his dog wasn't aggressive and didn't deserve to die.
“I just think there was other ways to handle it besides shooting my dog and firing a gun right in my front yard when we were having a birthday party and there were kids around,” Clubb told KMVT.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
Video captured by Hassani's dashboard-mounted camera shows the officer exit his vehicle as a chihuahua and two larger dogs swarm and bark at him.
Hassani yells at the unrestrained dogs to "get back" and kicks at them in an effort to approach the home. Clubb's 7-year-old black labrador, "Hooch," can be seen and heard snarling and barking.
When the dog gets closer to the officer, Hassani fires a round at the dog from point blank range. The animal immediately crumples to the ground, yelping and crying before crawling away from view of the camera where it eventually dies.
When Hassani finally approaches Clubb's home, the two men have a heated exchange.
"I just shot your dog because it tried to bite me," Hassani yells. "I come here for a f***ing call and it tried to bite me!"
"No it didn't!" Clubb yells back. "It don't bite nobody!"
Hassani eventually suggests the two "start all over" and calm down.
"The last time I got bit I ended up in the ER and had to get stitches in my hand," the officer explains. "I'm not gonna get bit again."
The officer then informs Clubb that the dog is most likely dead, and apologizes for shooting it.
"I am sorry I shot your dog. I love dogs, but I'm not gonna be bit again."
Clubb was ticketed for allowing his dogs to run around the neighborhood unrestrained, according to The Daily Mail.
The pet owner told Magic Valley News that he has Parkinson's disease, and Hooch was his trained service animal.
“He didn’t have to pull out his .45 and shoot my dog,” Clubb said. “It was right outside my son’s bedroom. What if it had ricocheted through the window?”
Clubb said he plans to sue the department.
"Maybe I deserve a ticket, but I don't deserve a dead dog," he said.
Filer Police Chief Tim Reeves has sided with his officer's actions, citing safety concerns for Hassani.
"My decision was that [Hassani] did a good job and he was totally justified in putting the dog down," Reeves said.
Was the officer justified in his actions, or out of line? Let us know below.
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