Family sues SDPD after officer shoot dog

"Grizzly" was killed in City Heights neighborhood
Posted at 11:22 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 02:23:10-05

SAN DIEGO -- A City Heights family filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday over the shooting death of their family dog by a San Diego police officer in February.

Grizzly was eight-years-old when he was shot and killed in City Heights  on Feb. 22, 2016. That’s the day SDPD Officer Robert Meiselman entered the gated yard of Alfredo and Socorro Fuentes. According to the family, the officer was there to inquire about an early-morning truck theft near their home on Thorn street.

The say the officer opened the gate to the yard, walked up the porch and banged on the front door. It was still dark outside.

Grizzly left his dog house a few feet away and walked up to the bottom of the porch to greet the officer, and the officer shot the dog four times, Fuentes said.

The morning of the shooting, a witness who did not to be identified told us what he saw.

“The dog was coming up behind the policeman to try and lick him and the police got scared and shot him 4 or five times,” the witness said.

Grizzly died 40 minutes later.

Grizzly’s owner, Alfredo Fuentes, said there were “beware of dog” signs in front of the home. He says the signs weren’t there to warn of a vicious animal. They were there to notify people that there was a dog in the yard.

“I can’t control my emotions when I remember what happened, because we really loved him and he’s part of the family,” Fuentes said with tears in his eyes. “We got him when he was a little puppy. We [went] walking all, every day for many years, one hour, and hour-and-a-half.”

Fuentes said the Husky-Pitbull mix was a very friendly animal, even with cats.

In February, police told 10News the officer was in a confined area and caught off-guard.

The City Heights family says they’re suing the department and demanding more training for police officers in family pet situations. They want the violence to end.