Pa State Trooper shoots, kills family dog

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A State Trooper shot and killed a family dog while attempting to serve a warrant at a York County home. The owner thinks the situation should have been handled much differently.

Jeff Bletz is dealing with the fact that he will never see his dog Ace again. “Last night it really hit home. He’s not there when you lay down or get up in the morning,” said Bletz.

Pennsylvania State Police and Lower Windsor Township Police were helping to serve a warrant with the U.S. Marshals service for Bletz’s daughter Thursday morning. Bletz said his daughter was not there because she is currently at a treatment facility. In the meantime, police encountered Ace, Bletz’s 8-year old Rottweiler/Labrador mix, in his Lower Windsor Township yard.

“One of our troopers was assigned the perimeter of this home. He was confronted by a large Rottweiler that was growling at him and came charging at him, at which point in time he drew his service weapon, because he was fearing for his safety,” said Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Officer, Rob Hicks.

“He was a pretty gentle dog,” said Bletz. “I guess he was just big and scary looking.”

William Manes, a neighbor, heard the commotion. “I heard a lady say don’t shoot the dog, don’t shoot the dog! So I got off the couch and looked out the window and all of a sudden I saw the police officer shoot the dog three times real quick,” said Manes. “It was heartbreaking because he was a good dog. I could see if it’s one of those dogs that attacks people all of the time.”

“I was in the garage, the dog was out peeing, and the next thing I know I heard three shots. Ace came over with the hole in him and lied down and died,” said Bletz. “They should have at least identified themselves or let me know they were here, and let me call the dog in.”

Bletz also wonders why the trooper shot towards his house when his grandson was playing video games inside. “It wasn’t only the dog, there was a child right in that window of the house where he was shooting,” said Bletz.

The incident is being investigated by State Police. “There is an internal investigation that will be conducted on this. Anytime a weapon is discharged, whether it is at a human or the dog, it’s still a use of force, therefore an internal investigation is conducted,” said Tpr. Hicks.

The trooper, whose name has not been released, is still on regular duty.

19 comments

  • MyTakeOnIt

    Not knowing the exact scenario and not trusting what I read here, I would say that an officer should stand down since the officer invaded the dog's space with no suspicion of shenanigans happening (like a fleeing suspect) and permit the owner to secure the pet from their own property. If there are no procedures in place to follow in cases like this where a warrant is being served, there ought to be now. It is not important enough to serve a warrant by killing a dog on it's own property when it could be avoided.

    Yes, I did READ that the dog came charging at him. Dogs will often stop within feet of someone and bark themselves blind. There is also something else to be said if a dog is outside without a fence (wireless or not) or a tie up, especially unattended.

  • Nola

    When will the Police stop shooting dogs for –acting like dogs? How long does this continue before City and State authorities take measures to stop violations of citizens' rights and their private property? How long do the citizens have to fear for their lives, their childrens' lives and their pets' lives? Does anyone really believe we DON'T live in a police state when we read about this every single day!

  • Police state?!

    If you don’t identify yourself and discharge a firearm at my dog on my property you are going to find yourself in a whole lot of hurt!

  • nicole

    I feel for the family but can also understand how scary a growling rottie charging can be. These dogs are an aggressive breed. I actually love pits, but not this breed. I’ve met a handful of nice ones out of hundreds. I work with animals and believe me this breed is unpredictable. If there was no time to try to call for the owner who by the way was not in sight, the officer may have done the only thing he could have before being attacked.

    • Jasmine

      I have been rescuing Rotts all my life, and never once had an issue I have never had an "unpredictable or aggressive Rott" – they are no different then a Pitt, it depends how they are brought up. The dog you are speaking about is Rott and Lab, all the neighbors around this property walked past this house many times and the dog never showed any aggression. The police office fired two shots and missed the Rott/Lab mix, the dog was running to his owner when the officer shot the dog in its side, which was the fatal shot. And just a quick fact for everyone – when the officer was shooting – another officer yelled out "You almost shot me". This officer who discharged his weapon obviously should not have a weapon. He clearly does not know how to handle it properly.

  • amanda

    I’m so tired of seeing all these stories of police shooting dogs. Dogs are for love and protection, especially on there territory. Maybe these police men should speak, backup or think before they start emptying their clip out on them. Not all dogs are vicious. Ill be damned if I ever loose my dogs to some stupid ass police men that thinks he can just shoot whatever just because their “scared”. Well considering your on there property an they don’t know you their going to do as their trained. Its not hard to ask the owner to controll them before you go fire happy. I’m sure some police have dogs an I’m possitive they would feel the same way us people do without power unlike themselves. Use your frickin brain or don’t be a police man.

  • Carol

    I wonder how that officer would feel if someone mercilessly shot his dog or even one of his family member's or friend's dog for no reason. I just feel this could have been handled much more professionally from the beginning.

    • Jason

      I agree. Most Cops are total dicks and incompetent dumb asses. Cops do not prevent crimes or solve them half the time. Cops are so worthless its ridiculous.

  • diane

    They should have left the owner retrieve his dog. Police officers are to protect iyes t he may have felt threatened but I agree it should have been handled differently. Also, today some of our so called protection from these officers is a adrenaline rush and they think they have special privileges because they where the badge! I wish someone would have videotaped this. So sad!!!

  • lazrus444

    Amazing, they don't have the grapes to shoot the bad guy, but seem to have the courage to shoot a pet. Well done quick draw.

  • TheOpinionatedOne

    The State Trooper who shot this dog should be totally ASHAMED of him or herself. The dog was on his own territory, the State Trooper invaded same. The troopers were onsite to arrest the daughter of the house, but apparently they didn't do their homework, she was in a treatment facility???? How damn stupid are they???
    I think the homeowner has grounds for a lawsuit against the PA state troopers, I'm just sayin'. What that trooper did was uncalled for behavior. He must be a total wimp.

  • TheOpinionatedOne

    The State Trooper who shot this dog should be totally ASHAMED of him or herself. The dog was on his own territory, the State Trooper invaded same. The troopers were onsite to arrest the daughter of the house, but apparently they didn't do their homework, she was in a treatment facility???? How damn stupid are they???

  • Bonnie Brown Miller

    This was so senseless with Ace! Yes, they should have given Jeff a chance to see who was there & confine his dog! I knew Jeff over 30 yrs. ago & haven't seen him in many yrs. until this! Having had our dog for 12 yrs. & him being so much a part of us, my heart breaks for Jeff & his family!

  • Manny

    By the comments I have read so far I see that it was clearly missed that there were three departments present to serve an arrest warrant. One of those departmnets was the U.S. Marshals office. Obviously, to most people, the person was not a very nice person and I am sure a phone call in advance to let them know the police were on their way would have proven most efficient. It also states in the aticle, but I guess no-one saw that either, a woman was calling out to the officer not to shoot the dog which did not stop the dog from charging. It was a very unfortunate incident for the family and the officer as I am sure he did not want to do it. I sympathize with both ends of the spectrum but try to learn all the facts before I start casting blam and ridicule.

  • Dan

    Why are they hiding the identity of the cop who shot this dog? I think I have a right to know if this violent SOB lives anywhere near me.

Comments are closed.