MPD kills innocent north Minneapolis couple's dog [UPDATES]

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Tito, the Cane Corso killed by the MPD Friday evening.
:::: UPDATE :::: Here's what the MPD incident report says about Tito's shooting: "DOGS RAN AT OFFICER AND WOULD NOT STOP. DOG DISPATCHED BY OFFICER. SUPERVISOR AND ANIMAL CONTROL RESPONDED TO SCENE." The arrested party is a minor, so his name isn't public information.

:::: UPDATE II :::: The MPD sent us this statement about the incident:
Police officers are placed into situations where, at times, they must make immediate decisions based on only the facts that are present at that moment. The officers are mandated to make the decisions to preserve their own safety as well as the safety of others.

The decision to shoot, or harm, an animal is not made lightly, but at times must be made immediately. Officers have no way of knowing the history of the animal, or what the animal may do. Every threat must be taken seriously.

These are very sad and unfortunate incidents and ones that no one wants to occur.
We also asked the MPD for information about the number of dogs that have been shot by officers in recent years, but that data wasn't immediately available.

Original post (July 21) -- Sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. Friday, Paul Thomas Trott let his dogs out of the north Minneapolis home near Aldrich Avenue and 39th Avenue he shares with his partner, Josh Lyczkowski.

Unbeknownst to both of them, the gate on their fence had been broken by a car theft suspect who had fled from cops through their yard shortly before, and the dogs, Tito and Vita, made their way into a nearby alley.

See also:
St. Paul PD defends killing dogs while executing search warrant that didn't lead to arrest

In the alley, Tito -- a nearly two-year-old, 120-pound Cane Corso -- approached an officer who was still hunting for the car theft suspect. The officer ended up opening fire and killing Trott and Lyczkowski's beloved dog.

"I ran out the door and was hollering for him," Trott tells us. "I didn't get halfway to the gate when you could hear the officer yell, 'Stop!' He just yelled 'Stop!' and shot him and that was it."

Trott, in shock, approached his dead dog, but he says police initially wouldn't let him get near the corpse.

"The only thing [cops] kept saying is, 'You weren't here, you don't know what's going on, you don't have time to discern pet from animal and in our mind they're just animals,'" Trott says. "It was, shoot first, think later. You know, I understand where they're at -- I worked four years for the Illinois Department of Corrections as a correctional officer. But [Tito] had a collar, tags, and he's clearly not a stray."

"Tito is gonna come after you, but he's not being aggressive -- he wants to play," Trott continues. "It's just wrong -- what if some kid was chasing their dog in this situation?"

"Tito isn't going to hurt anybody, he's a big playful puppy," Trott adds. "The cops says he lunged at him. He doesn't lunge."

Trott says the MPD officer who shot Tito is D.R. Mattson, badge number 4486, adding that his neighbor told him she saw the whole thing.

(For more, click to page two.)



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