ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a shooting that drew criticism from the dog’s owner and community members. A dog owner claimed deputies shot their pet while the dog was tied up, but a new video tells a different story.
It was supposed to a be simple visit by county zoning workers on October 6.
“This is the house I thought we were going to, but they are all related.” Deputy lapel video shows as they approach the property.
As the deputies approached the property they noticed the dog charging at them.
“So, what happens in those situations is zoning calls our department to go out to a scene before they report. They’re just to ensure that the scene is safe, the scene is secure, and zoning can approach,” explained Jayme Fuller-Gonzales, a spokesperson with Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.
In the video, the deputies back away while the dog still approaches. One deputy reaches for his taser. The other deputy who is closest to the dog grabs his firearm and shoots at least one round at the dog.
An internal investigation was conducted by the sheriff’s office and determined the deputies acted within policy.
“It happens so rapidly and so quick. That dog aggressively goes after our deputy that there’s only so many options that they can deal with. Obviously, a dog can’t be reasoned with,” said Fuller-Gonzales.
However, there are conflicting reports on whether the dog was tied up when he was shot.
The owner of the dog, named Letche, did not want to speak on camera but spoke to us over the phone. The owner said Letche is a kind dog who gets excited easily. He said Letche was restrained earlier that afternoon but claims the collar he was wearing must have broken.
“They are claiming that the dog was chained up, and that the deputy shot their dog chained up, which is obviously a huge concern for everybody. That would be problematic in any situation, but the video clearly shows that that’s not the case,” said Fuller-Gonzales
As for Letche, the owner said he survived but had to have a leg amputated.
BCSO’s Animal Cruelty Unit is investigating whether Letche was in fact restrained at all during the incident.