Alton brings back animal control officer after police officers f - KMOV.com

Alton brings back animal control officer after police officers fatally shoot dog

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A dog with an injured leg was shot and killed by Alton police officers after police took over animal control services. A dog with an injured leg was shot and killed by Alton police officers after police took over animal control services.
ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

After Alton police officers fatally shot a dog to death, Alton city officials decided to re-instate the city's animal control officer.

Alton leaders decided to cut their animal control officer at the beginning of July, leaving police with an additional job for which they were not trained. The city’s Mayor announced a special council meeting that was held on Wednesday night to discuss the incident. During the meeting, officials announced animal control will be reinstated.

Alton's mayor said $1.2 million from the Army Corps of Engineers was given to the city as reimbursement for improvement's to Alton's riverfront. The mayor said some of the money will help pay for the animal control officer and be used to pay for police pensions.

A police report was released on Wednesday, revealing the Alton police officers involved took a dog they called wounded and vicious from outside of a Family Dollar Store to the city’s public works yard and shot him multiple times to “put it down.”

Illinois' Animal Control Act dictates the dog should have been taken to a veterinary office to scan the dog for a microchip, which would have enabled the officers to find and notify the dog’s owner instead of taking his fate into their own hands.

After killing the dog, they scanned him and discovered he was microchipped and then notified his owner.

“After reading the police report… I am speechless. This dog was shot two times with a .12 gauge shotgun, then two times with their .40 caliber hand guns,” said Jackie Spiker of Hope Animal Rescue in a post on the group’s Facebook page. “Their report says the dog was vicious… I do not understand how they were able to coax the dog into their car without getting bit, then coax the dog out of their car without getting bit to kill the poor thing.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Spiker and others went to the Alton Police Department to meet with the Alton Police Chief to discuss future options. All parties decided to work together in the future, but that was before the police report was released.

"The officers of the Alton Police Department do love animals. I think it is a very unfortunate situation," said Alton Public Information Officer Emily Hejna on Tuesday. "Our officers are not trained animal control officers and they make decisions with the information they have been given."

Animal rights advocates demonstrated at Wednesday night's city council meeting.

"Let’s come up with a solution so that we can keep a functioning animal control and not put Alton Police officers who are not properly trained… so that what happened to this dog never happens again," said Spiker.

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