Heartbreaking “Police Kill Dog” Story is Breaking the Internet Too

By Amanda Warren

A tragic story of police showing up at the wrong house and blasting away another beloved pet was just passed on the Internet – across the world – like a torch. The embers are still glowing hot and are threatening to bring the whole damn thing down. So much so, that the officers involved had to scurry to cover up the action and ensuing lies. Even the Wyckoff, NJ department Facebook page disappeared and they slapped up a new one to escape public ire – but that one soon got over 100 one-star ratings with each reviewer describing what really happened.

Will this be the last straw to bring accountability for police indiscriminately killing the canine family members of its citizenry? Will people finally become outraged and say enough is enough?

Basic story: An officer claims his life was threatened by a dog coming out of a window after he went into the yard of the wrong house for a burglary call. The claim is that he knocked and was dutifully checking things out by an open window when a “growling” dog charged him and latched onto his leg. The problem: it doesn’t add up. Witness accounts, bullet casings and more completely contradict both the officer account and the chief’s extreme adherence to defending an officer who may have shot a dog “just because.” Owner Igor Vukobratovic came back from a trip to the mall to find his dog in the process of dying after it was shot at four times and hit twice (in the chest and back) by Officer Kyle Ferreira in the late afternoon of April 29.

First, a gallery and timeline demonstrating the power of the Internet.

Justice for Otto is a page set up to show what happened to Otto, the friendly German Shepard, a family dog that was not trained for attack.

A posting on Reddit goes viral.

It connects to a heartbreaking visual story on Imgur. The Imgur story has been viewed over a quarter-million times. The GoFundMe account is rapidly receiving support in the thousands of dollars. A petition has amassed over 5,000 signatures. NJ.com had to report on it, and even close the comments due to their incendiary nature.

From Imgur:

The Wyckoff Police maintain that the officer was investigating the yard when he noticed an open window. Thinking this was a potential burglary in progress, he drew his weapon. Seconds later, Otto leapt through the window and “attacked his boot.” The police maintain that there was a struggle and the Officer feared for his life, requiring four shots to subdue Otto. The officer was not injured. [A.W.: this is true, he was never injured.]

The police story does not remotely add up. Otto had never attacked anyone in his life. He was not aggressive. But he would have immediately heard a person enter his yard and would instantly come out to greet them. Witness statements indicate the Officer was not in the yard for more than a few seconds before firing his gun, meaning he could not have observed an open window as cause to draw his weapon. Witnesses did not observe a struggle. He was simply startled and fired four shots at a dog who would have only sniffed him.

According to Truthvoice, an officer told them:

There was a burglary in the area. Luckily it wasn’t your house – but we shot your dog.

The chief thinks there’s a social media conspiracy to “make up stories” to smear them. He gives the “dog could have killed” lines. No one at the department is being disciplined, admitting responsibility or legitimately investigating (themselves). The family (and the Internet) is not letting it go – they openly state that the department is lying and launched their own investigation. See how the department story can’t possibly add up?

Casings – from the album EVIDENC

A friend writes:

Igor & I began to put the pieces together. (This chart is ours.) Desperate to cover their tracks, the police concocted the story about the bitten boot and the open window, as a way to justify deadly force. They made no investigation, displaying negligence so great that Igor & I discovered ballistics at the scene they had not recovered themselves, proving the Officer could have never investigated the yard prior to drawing his weapon. The police continue to lie, insult Igor’s family, and have not yet publicly apologized.

The family is seeking legal action. “It could have easily been kids playing in any of the neighboring yards,” a friend said. “It’s alarming to see that kind of recklessness with a firearm.”

While some police carry on with unnecessary canine executions, they forget that emotional connection is a bond that normal people share with each other and it still translates on the Internet. Pretty soon, people will have nothing left to lose and will not worry themselves whether contemptuous officers “feared for their lives” or not – they will see through that facade…

Saying Goodbye at the animal hospital

Visit Justice for Otto – please share this story or the ones that were linked to above.

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