A Boulder County family is filing a lawsuit against the town of Erie and one of its police officers.
In May 2011, Officer Jamie Chester shot the Moore family's German shepherd while responding to a call. The dog's owner Brittany Moore wants to see the city and police department change its policies when it comes to handling pets at a scene.
A year later and Brittany Moore still gets emotional as she explains the night her dog was shot.
"Ava immediately made this awful sound and fell to the ground, and I just said oh my god what did you do? And he said 'Ma'am I had to do it,' " said Moore. The 'he' is Erie police officer Jamie Chester.
The Boulder County District Attorney's office did not file charges against Officer Chester, citing he "was justified in using deadly and physical force."
Moore's attorney Jennifer Edwards has worked on several of these cases at the Animal Law Center. She said the ultimate problem is the lack of protocol.
"There are really no use of force policies when it comes to the family pet," said Edwards.
Now, Moore said she's going to sue the city and Officer Chester because she wants to see change.
"A lot of things could have been done differently. I think they should be trained on animal behavior and given the right tools so this hopefully never happens again," Moore said.
7News called Erie police and found officers are equipped with snare poles and pepper spray.
"Most officers shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to the family pet," said Edwards.
She said that mindset has to change. It's took a year for the family to file a suit because Moore said she wanted to give the officer time to apologize but that never happened.
"We're giving them a year to do what's right. We were never given an apology," Moore said.
Once the suit is accepted it will go to the Boulder District Court.
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