Monmouth prosecutors probe Keyport police shooting of family dog
Keyport police officers shot a dog at a house Saturday while responding to a call of an aggressive animal, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Just before 6 p.m., the Keyport police received an emergency call about an aggressive animal cornering a female and her dog on Pine Street.
Upon arrival, officers found it in a parking lot area, where they say the dog charged at them. One of the officers then shot at the animal, striking it in the shoulder.
The dog retreated into a garage near the incident. Authorities from the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA) arrived on scene, subdued the animal and took it for treatment. The dog is currently in stable condition.
Under the guidelines of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Use of Force Directive, the incident is being investigated by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Responsible Unit.
The Ferrara family, who own the two-year-old American Bully named Blaze, have criticized the way the police handled the situation. They say the dog lives in a home with three small children and has never been aggressive.
"There's a whole bunch of different ways in protocol to handle the situation. Pepper spray, taser, tranquilizer," Alexyss Ferrara says.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office, police body cam footage captured the officer's encounter with the dog in the parking lot. The Ferrara family, however, say a RING camera footage that they got from a neighbor's home tells another story.
"I watched the video of it, they called his name. He came prancing over all happy and they fired shots at him, he dodged the bullets," Alexyss Ferrara says. "They followed him, and they took one or two more shots at him."
As of Sunday night, police would not release the body cam footage and the Ferrara family also did not make public the footage that they got.