A Wisconsin community is in an uproar after police shot and killed a 3-year-old Australian cattle dog during a raid on a suspect's house.
Cell phone video of the shooting sparked outrage, but police say it does not tell the whole story.
"I am saddened over the loss of a domestic pet that more than likely, had no malice against anyone," Racine Police Chief Art Howell told the Racine County Eye. "[However]... after the dog was released, the dynamics of this encounter changed."
Fox 6 reports that the incident was sparked Nov. 1 after a neighbor asked the dog's owner, Kurt Hanson, to clean up some feces that the dog had left on his lawn.
The neighbor, Kim Polk, told the station that Hanson responded by saying he'd shoot her family's dog with a bow and arrow, and threatening her husband with a machete.
The Polks called Racine Police, who arrived to find Hanson barricaded in his house. A statement posted to the department's Facebook page notes that the man then made threatening 911 calls, telling a dispatcher that the officers should get off his property or else he would use his automatic rifle to “clean up the situation.”
A three-hour standoff ensued, and police say Hanson eventually came out of his house and said he'd turn his dog loose on the officers. He also allegedly said he would use an armor-piercing crossbow to kill officers.
As the video picks up, a SWAT team is shown advancing on the house with a K-9 unit. As they get to the edge of Hanson's lawn, the man's dog comes out on the lawn. It doesn't appear to act aggressively, but police fire several shots, and the dog is downed.
Racine police said that the animal was shot because Hanson "threatened to use his dog as a weapon" and then "intentionally released [it] against them."
Hanson was arrested on a handful of charges, including at least one felony. But neighbors remain outraged at the shooting of his dog.
Angry Facebook users bombarded the department's page with negative comments and bad reviews in the wake of the incident.
A Facebook group called "Justice 4 Angel," after Hanson's slain Australian cattle dog, was set up after the shooting. It shared petitions to fire the officers involved and promote safeguards for dogs in the city.
Racine Police Chief Art Howell told the Racine County Eye that the shooting will be investigated.
"Additional review is in order," Howell said. "In the event our review process exposes misconduct, or if we find that additional training could have resulted in a better outcome, we will take appropriate action as dictated by our findings."