OPP confirms it was dog, not coyote that officer ran over and shot
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2015 11:03AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:54PM EDT
Police officers looking for a coyote in Collingwood, Ont., instead killed a resident's 21-year-old dog, running over the animal twice before shooting it.
The incident was caught on video Monday night.
Residents had alerted authorities that there was a "coyote" in the neighbourhood. When OPP arrived, the dog approached the officers' cruiser.
"It just kept hanging around and it wasn't afraid of the vehicle at all, of anything. It was just lurking around looking at the vehicle," resident Kelly O'Neill told CTV Barrie on Tuesday. "It wasn't afraid at all."
Instead of capturing the animal, O'Neill said the police cruiser ran over it several times. One of the officers then got out of the car and shot it.
On Wednesday morning, OPP confirmed the animal was a dog, not a coyote.
A resident of the neighbourhood told CTV Barrie that the animal was his dog, which he said looks like a coyote.
"She is 21 years old. Being blind and deaf, she doesn't respond too well to anything really, so I can see how they mixed the dog up with a coyote because she looks like one," Scott Klinck said.
Klinck said his dog got loose after a windstorm blew his gate open.
'Tragic mistake' caught on video
The incident was captured on video, which was posted to social media. In the cellphone video that was shot on a dark street, the voices of horrified residents can be heard in the background as a police cruiser appears to runs over the animal twice before it’s finally shot.
The video has been met with strong reaction by local residents.
“It was mind boggling that’s somebody’s pet,” one resident told CTV Kitchener. “It’s disgusting.”
Police said they are aware of the video, and are investigating the incident. They say they have been in touch with the owner of the dog.
"It would appear at this point that there was a tragic mistake and the appearance of the animal as a coyote was in fact not true – although it was very, very close," OPP detachment Cmdr. John Trude said.
"The officer and the people in the neighbourhood had that belief."
The OPP "remain committed to destruction of wildlife that is an imminent threat to public safety," the statement said.
But wildlife protection groups are calling for an animal cruelty investigation into the animal’s death.
"We didn’t want to think this was real when it was sent to us, but it is irrefutable at this point," said Michael Howie, spokesperson for the Association for the Protection of Fur-bearing Animals.
The Vancouver-based organization is asking that the Ontario SPCA and the OPP work together to conduct an animal cruelty investigation.
Collingwood animal control officials still have the animal's remains.
With reports from CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener and CTV Barrie