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Family seeking answers after two police officers shoot, kill dog

A Decatur family is speaking out after their dog was shot and killed by two police officers.

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 7:19 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 10:55 PM

DECATUR, Ind. (WFFT)- A Decatur family is speaking out after their dog was shot and killed by two police officers.

JJ Martin said their 18-month-old German Rottweiler mix, Watt, hasn't been the same since his brother, Rizzo, died.

"He doesn't get tied out anymore. It's walks and that's it and he doesn't want to be out that much anyway," Martin said.

Martin said Rizzo was tied up outside on July 7th, but got loose from his collar. Martin and his son, Zach, weren't home when Rizzo got off the chain, but his son got a text from a friend that said a dog in the area had been shot and killed.

"With them being Rottweilers, we knew we were going to get the superstition of the aggressive breed, the fighting breed, all that, but we raised them to be lap dogs. We raised them to be house dogs," Zach Martin said.

When they got home, they saw the blood on the porch and in the bushes where Rizzo died. He was shot three times by two officers who were called to the area to contain him.

Then, the officers took his body to a nearby compost pile, a location Chief Lenny Corral said was a neutral area where kids would not see him.

JJ Martin said he went to pick Rizzo up, and buried him in the front yard.

Decatur Police sent out a press release detailing the incident. They said Rizzo became aggressive and that's when a neighbor called them. After several attempts to capture Rizzo, they made the decision to put him down.

The neighbor who called the police didn't want to be identified, but said her kids were outside when Rizzo got loose.

She said she also did try to call Animal Care and Control, but they would not come to get Rizzo.

"You never know, with a larger breed, what they're going to do, [if] they're going to come at your children or go after someone else," she said.

She said it's not the first time Rizzo has escaped, and officers were on the scene for around 35 minutes trying to catch him before they pulled their weapons.

"It's unfortunate what happened, and we feel really bad for them, but there's nothing we can do. The police feel horrible themselves," she said.

Chief Corral said only two dogs have been shot by officers in the town since 2015, counting Rizzo. He said his officers were only doing their jobs.

Zach Martin said nothing can be done to make this right. JJ Martin said he wants something to be done to keep others from experiencing this.

He also wants a copy of the police report that was promised to him.

"They need to come out with the facts and the truth," Martin said.

The chief said on the phone Martin will get the report after the city attorney reviews it.

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