We love animals, especially dogs, so it always breaks our hearts to hear about dogs in suffering. It hurts even more when that suffering is caused by the deliberate actions of people who absolutely should know better. We just found a distressing story about a beloved family dog and the sheriff’s deputy who shot him.
Over the last few years, there has been a serious conversation in our nation between law enforcement officers and their supporters, and the communities that they are entrusted to police. Often, both sides have adopted an “us against them” stance that has made it difficult for the wider society to feel like there is a place in the middle. Unfortunately for Rogers County, Oklahoma, that debate just got even uglier.
Decorated Rogers County deputy Logan Ellers was recently called to a home in response to a disturbance call. When he arrived on site and found no one in the house, he encountered the family dog, a German shepherd named Bruno, who barked at the approaching officer. Claiming to feel threatened by the dog, deputy Ellers shot the animal, and then left a citation for the family while Bruno lay, severely wounded.
Tragically, Ellers had responded to the wrong house.
When the family returned home, they found their beloved dog bleeding from a gunshot wound in their front yard. They were able to rush Bruno to a local veterinary hospital where the staff stabilized him. Unfortunately, Bruno will need either an artificial shoulder replacement or he will need to have one of his front legs amputated.
When they found the citation left by deputy Ellers, it read:
“We were investigating a crime and your dog attacked our deputy. The dog was shot and we need you to call us.”
Far from apologizing for the incident, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department has defended Logan Ellers’ actions. They said the dog was not taken to a veterinary hospital because the Sheriff’s Department is not a “dog ambulance service.” The department has also refused to pay for the medical bills.
It is very hard to “stand with them” when law enforcement officers behave so completely egregiously, and are then backed up by their departments without consideration for the innocent civilians, and in this case, animals that are harmed.
It is tragic whenever an officer has to shoot an animal, but frequently it can be justified as either a humane intervention or in defense of themselves or another individual. However, to simply leave a wounded animal to die in the front yard of a home that was not even the correct house, take the time to write a dismissive citation for the family, and then hide behind the badge and department is beyond the pale. Furthermore, without any supporting evidence to back up Officer Ellers’ claim that Bruno attacked him, for the Sheriff’s department to handle the incident in such a completely insensitive and dismissive way speaks volumes to the broader culture within that department.
The family of Bruno has started a GoFundme page to raise money needed for his treatment and recovery, and have almost reached their goal of about ten thousand dollars.
No official action has been taken against Sheriff’s deputy Logan Ellers, despite the fact that security camera footage directly contradicts his account of the incident.
While we all want to believe that law enforcement officers have our best interests in mind when they put on a badge, we must perhaps consider that sometimes bad people wind up becoming cops, and that it is not in the best interest of departments to stand by them when they commit such gross offenses.