Buddy loved laying under a shady tree in his San Bernardino, California, yard — and now he will rest there forever.
On Monday, police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call showed up at the wrong house and shot and killed Buddy, a beloved family dog, reports NBC 4.
“He used to lay out here under this tree, so we buried him right here,” the husky-Labrador mix’s owner, Debra Blackmore, told the station.
Authorities from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department arrived at Blackmore’s house around 12:30 p.m. after receiving a call from a concerned neighbor. Unsure if the house was the cause for the call, the officers approached the residence’s fenced yard with caution, rattling it to alert any animals in the yard. As the police walked into the fenced area, two small dogs appeared, followed by a third, larger canine. This was Buddy.
“When the larger dog came out, he was aggressive and barked at the deputies continuing toward them,” Lt. Brad Toms of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Worried that Buddy would attack, one of the officers drew his gun and shot Buddy, killing the innocent animal. In audio recordings from the incident, barking can be heard in the background before the single shot was fired.
Following the shooting, the officers responding to the call realized they were at the wrong home and offered a brief apology to the man who came out to check on Buddy. According to the officers, the man declined to have animal control transport his dog for medical treatment. The officers left the scene and found the right home, where they arrested a woman for suspected grand theft auto and narcotics violations.
After looking over the incident, investigators have decided not to seek out discipline against the officers, who are now back on patrol. The sheriff’s department did offer its condolences to Blackmore and her family, saying the officers involved feel horrible about what happened.
“The department and the officers involved in this unfortunate situation all recognize the emotional impact the loss of a family pet has on this family and we extend our deepest sympathies,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The officers involved in this incident feel terrible about what occurred but felt they had no other reasonable option at the time.”
Blackmore, who is understandably distraught, wants more from the authorities who took her pet away.
“They just seem to think that, ‘Oh well, sorry.’ That needs to stop. They need to do their job better,” she said.
In response, Hesperia police Captain Greg Wielenga has reach out to offer any assistance to help Buddy’s family with “next steps.”