A mother and daughter are livid after a Miami-Dade police officer shot and killed their pet dog despite warnings not to go on the property.
Police were responding to a burglar alarm at the home near Hialeah when the incident occurred, Det. Edna Del Castillo said.
Ozzy, a 140-pound Rottweiler, was in the backyard of the house.
"He wouldn't hurt anyone. He just looks big," said Laura Samuelson, who has owned Ozzy for three years. "All he would do is lick you to death. They were laughing about it."
Samuelson said her dog was shot three times.
Del Castillo said the dog charged the officers, who entered the backyard to investigate the house. Then the dog was shot, she said.
The shooting is being looked into, but officers are instructed not to go into a backyard if they visually see a dog and perceive a threat, she said.
But Samuelson's neighbor, Fernando Perez, said he told the cops several times that Ozzy was roaming in the back.
When the security alarm system at the home went off, Samuelson called Perez to check it out while she made the 20-minute drive to her house, he said. Perez said he knew not to go into the backyard because of the dog and when officers arrived, he warned them.
"'Be careful. It’s a big dog,' I told them. They told me to go back to my house," said Perez, who repeated the warning several more times. "Before I get to my driveway, I hear the two shots. They walked into the backyard with the guns in their hand. Then they ran from the backyard like they were scared or something."
Samuelson said she got Ozzy to protect the house and deter thieves. Police have not said what triggered the alarm.
"He was our protector," Samuelson said. "He’s a huge part of our family."