Dog dies after police prevent neighbor from giving aid after it was hit by a car

Video shows dog suffering for nearly 90 minutes

DENVER - A Denver resident is speaking out after 7NEWS video shows Denver police keeping neighbors from helping a dog hit by a car Wednesday night.

"It was in shock, its pupils were totally dilated. It couldn't really move," said neighbor Ross Knapp.

The video shows the dog, which had a collar and leash but no tags, laying in the middle of Federal Boulevard at West 21st Avenue for nearly 90 minutes as it gasps for air.  Knapp said he gave the dog water and tried to comfort it, but Denver police threatened to arrest him.

"I had one of the officers tell me I had to leave and couldn't be near it.  I tried a couple of times to go back and he just finally said I'm impeding on an investigation and if I came back I'd be arrested," Knapp said.

The dog died minutes before Animal Control arrived.  Denver Police told 7NEWS that they followed policy.

"It's always about the personal safety of that individual.  It's not trying to be cruel to the animal or cruel to the individual.  It's best if we get the Animal Control people in there, let them do what they do as experts and let them take the actions," said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson.

We asked Denver Police to view the video but they declined.

"Until you've seen the video, how can you answer the question of whether the correct discretion was used by the officers," 7NEWS reporter Molly Hendrickson asked.

"Well, I'm not going to second guess the officers.  I wasn't there with them nor was anyone else to say what transpired around it," Jackson replied.

Records show Denver police called animal control 15 minutes after arriving to the accident scene but it took the on-call animal control officer more than an hour to get there.

Meghan Hughes, a spokesperson for Animal Control said they aim to respond within an hour, but the officer was coming from his home and ran into traffic on the way.

After our story aired, Englewood resident Conner Leiva said he was so moved by it that he started an online petition at to force Denver Police to apologize.  Petition link:

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