The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Coeur d’Alene Police officer on Wednesday says the dog wasn’t a “vicious pit bull,” as initially reported by the police department in a news release Wednesday, but a 2-year-old black Labrador named “Arfee.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark, in a statement today, said the department is reviewing the shooting Wednesday in a parking lot at 821 Sherman Ave. in downtown Coeur d’Alene. “Animal control officers originally identified the dog as a pit bull. The Police Department had a veterinarian examine the dog and it has been identified as a lab mix,” Clark said.
“We understand the grief the family is dealing with due to the loss of their pet. We also understand the distress this has caused for citizens,” Clark said. “The officer who shot the dog is also distraught over this incident.”
Police reported that they were responding to a report of a suspicious van, possibly containing someone watching young children near 8th and Sherman Avenue.
When an officer approached the van on the driver’s side, he reported that a dog he thought was a pit bull lunged out the window toward his face, prompting him to fire his service weapon, striking the dog in the chest and killing it.
No one was in the van.
But the van’s owner, Craig Jones, posted on Facebook at 1:26 p.m. on Wednesday, “Cda cops just shot my dog while I ate lunch at Java?”
Jones, who is from Coeur d’Alene but now lives in Colorado, had posted three days earlier, “Best 4th of July weekend in cda eva…” with a photo showing a view of the lake.
On Thursday, he posted, “I’d like to thank my Facebook family for your support and love. Today is definitely harder than yesterday. Just seeing his ball in my rig tears me apart. This cop left a hole in both of that can’t be fixed. If it wasn’t for my desire to face him in court and strip him of his badge. I would probably be at the bottom of the lake with my boy ‘Arfee.’”
The incident has exploded on social media, and the police department reported that it has received threatening voice mails and emails, and is therefore withholding the name of the officer involved.
“This incident will be investigated and reviewed for policy and legal compliance,” Clark said.