A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dog Killing

A Teton County, Idaho family is outraged after they say a sheriff's deputy tried to murder their dog in their own front yard. The Barboza family has owned their dog Bobby for five years. A few days ago they say a Teton County Idaho Sheriff's Deputy knocked on their door demanding to see the dog. Leonel Barboza, Dog Owner: "He says, 'I'm here to put him down. I'm here to kill him.'" The officer told Leo Barboza there had been a complaint Bobby had bitten someone.

Barboza: "I said, 'Do you have any proof or anything?' He says, 'I don't need any proof.'" So Leo got the dog while the deputy pulled out a rifle from his car. They walked a few feet from the Barboza's home where Leo's wife and his three year old son were inside. Leo and the officer tied the dog to a pole when the deputy fired three shots. The dog then collapsed. Leo's son heard the gunshots and opened the front door. Meanwhile...

Barboza: "A bunch of kids just got off the bus and they were all on the street. All the kids were watching the officer shooting the dog. My heart was broken seeing an officer killing my dog." The deputy then got in his vehicle and drove away leaving the dog bleeding profusely from his head almost dead.

Barboza: "I came back inside with my wife and hid. We were hugging each other crying about our dog because we were gonna miss him. He's been with us for five years." That night Leo's father-in-law, who witnessed the whole thing, had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. When the family returned home from the hospital a few days later, they were shocked to see their dog alive.

Barboza: "My wife called me up and she's like, 'Hey, the dog's alive!' I was like, 'What are you serious?' I was happy my dog was alive." The Teton County Idaho Sheriff wouldn't say much about this case except that it's still under investigation. He also said there's been numerous complaints about the Barboza's dog. But when I checked court records, I could only find one complaint filed last year and that was dismissed.

Nate Eaton, Channel 3 Eyewitness News: "Did your dog ever bite anybody?"

Barboza: "Not to my knowledge. No."

Eaton: "And this was the first time you'd ever heard of any complaint?"

Barboza: "Yes, this is the first time. I still think about it. You know my kid thinks all the cops are bad because an officer came and shot his dog. Honestly when I think about it I get mad too and I don't trust that officer any more."

The Barboza's took Bobby to the vet. He's now on medication to get the wounds taken care of. The holes in his head will be sewn up after Thanksgiving. The family has hired attorney Josh Garner. I spoke with him this evening and he says, "If the facts are as they appear, the deputies behavior is disgusting, troublesome, and appalling. The officer needs to be held responsible." Several sources say the officer is still on duty and still working in the county.



To support the Barboza family legally or financially, email their attorney Josh Garner at garnerlawoffice@gmail.com.

By Nate Eaton, Kidk.com


But wait, it gets worse.........

Local residents are also talking about the story. Justin Frandsen says he was in the sheriff's office the night before the dog was shot and he heard deputies talking about the animal.

Justin Frandsen: "They were joking and laughing about what weapons they wanted to shoot him with and how they were gonna shoot him. At the end of the conversation, they were almost feuding over who got to shoot the dog." Shocked by what he heard, Frandsen says he spoke up to the deputies.

Frandsen: "You guys must feel like you're real big cops, real tough guys, to have to go out and basically assassinate somebody's house pet."

excerpt: By Channel 3 Eyewitness News Team
"This is unacceptable to treat an animal in this way, regardless of what the animal has done." Dr. Joseph Rosenthal, Idaho Humane Society stated. "This is an act of cruelty and to find out that later the dog was discovered to still be alive and suffering it’s just an example."

Not only is that an unacceptable way to treat an animal, it's a abhorrent way to treat a citizen. Deputy Joseph Guitierez compelled Leonel Barboza to take part in and witness the staking out and attempted execution of his dog. There was no reason for that. Even if the dog were dangerous, even if it had a documented history of biting people, the proper way to handle the situation would have been to capture the animal, then contain and quarantine the animal until rabies observation could be completed. Shooting a staked out animal is nothing short of cowardice. Shooting a staked out animal suspected of biting a human is nothing short of ignorant.

Further, on watching the videotape of the Kidk.com story, it is apalling to consider that an officer of the law, who was unable to effectively hit a target 15 feet away, was shooting a damned rifle in mobile home park. I have no idea what caliber of rifle was used, but a .22LR bullet will rip through both sides of most mobile homes unless it strikes something in between. Something like a person's head. To think this idiot official representative of Teton County Idaho may have been firing a .223, a .308, or even a 30.06 strikes me as not only completely reckless, but dangerous as hell in regards to the safety of the people who lived there. If the Teton County Sheriff's Office sent him, they are responsible for jeopardizing every person in that trailer park. Deputy Joseph Guitierez was on official business as a Teton County official, and those wounds on that dog may have been debrided as the result of veterinary attention, but they do not look like .22LR wound to me, and I am not unfamiliar with gunshot wounds. I seem to recall another law enforcement officer shooting at non-threatening animals and causing the death of a human being.

Deputy Joseph Guitierez has been suspended. The Tri-County Sheriff's Organization is now investigating the shooting. That is not enough. This entire sheriff's office needs to be scrutinized for their policies not only of animal control, but of protecting the public through more intelligent and informed leadership and instruction of their deputies.

Irene Brown, the Animal Services Manager for the Idaho Falls Police Department states, "We would only use a weapon against a dog if the dog came at us viciously." She goes on to speak about the need to quarantine an animal that has bitten a person for rabies observation. Sound familiar? Of course, Leonel Barboza may not live in Idaho falls, and as a result this case may not fall under their jurisdiction, but it certainly appears the resources are available close by for Teton County Sheriff Kim Cooke to take a look at.

Let Sheriff Kim Cooke know what you think.
Sheriff Kim Cooke
89 N Main St
Driggs, Idaho 83422
(208)354-2323
208-354-2463
kcooke@co.teton.id.us

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only should the Deputy be fired but the Sheriff as well.

That Deputie’s actions are a direct reflection of the attitudes and unwritten policies of his leaders. In this case the Sheriff. The Sheriff is responsible for everything his people do. It doesn’t matter whether he directed that Deputy to take the action he did or not.

For that Deputy to have such a disregard for another life, any life, he had to believe on some level he had a tacit approval either because of an attitude which prevails in the Teton County Sheriff’s Office or because of something that was said by his superiors.

I do not believe for a second that the Sheriff was in the dark about the nature this particular Deputy, which to my way of thinking makes him just as culpable as if he had pulled the trigger himself. If he actually knew nothing of what this man was capable of then he is simply incompetent and should be fired on that basis alone.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please email the Sherriff and tell him what you think about this. Ask for the resignation of the man who shot the dog.

rkaufman@co.teton.id.us

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

Sheriffs are elected, not hired.

A recall election petition would probably deep six any chance of his getting elected again ... even if the recall fails, people will remember it during the next election.

9:55 PM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

I won't type what I think of that individual. I put down a few critters over six years as a reserve officer. I never took any joy in it, and made damn sure it was as fast and humane as possible. I think if I was in the owner's position, I'd be in jail at the moment for threatening a law enforcement officer and obstruction. There are circumstances where I'd agree to having my dog put down, but it would have to be proven, and I'd be the one putting him down. This piece of trash in unworthy of a badge.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why did he cooperate with the cop in the first place? someone comes for one of my dogs best have a written and verifiable order or there will be a standoff. it was clearly an unlawful order.

Then, why did he not check on the dog and verify death early on? he let the animal suffer for hours.

Yes, the cop is an ass, but this guy is a fool.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Sterno said...

And cops still wonder why alot of people don't like them.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really pisses me off. The death threats needs to stop!

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, I just called the Sheriff's office to speak my outrage. I spoke to the Dispatcher, a very polite woman named Candy.

When I told her how repulsive I thought the incident was, she told me she would have the Sheriff call me back on Monday if I wanted.

We got to talking, as she was very pleasant and willing to discuss the story.

She said that it was "County rules" that led to the dog being shot. She said this in response to my asking if the Sheriff had DIRECTED his Deputy to go and shoot the dog.

Candy said during our conversation, that she supports her Deputy. I asked why and she told me that we are only hearing half the story, and when we hear the other half, we might change our minds.

I told her it was despicable anyway. I said even if the dog had bitten 10 people, or if MY dog had bitten ten people, I'd expect our towns animal control officer to come, quarantine the dog, and if needed, put him down in a Vet approved manner.
No suffering, and least of all no gun shots.

I told her if someone came to do that to my dog, without court papers, they'd be more trouble than there is now.

I told her I was sending money to the Barbozza family to help their lawyer get the Sheriff and the Deputy fired.

She replied, you may change your mind when you hear the other side of the story.

I asked "HOW" will I hear the other side. She said.... "I hope the Sheriff will make a statement on Monday.

I think this sucks. Sucks times 20.

I guess I'm just venting, but I'm glad I don't live anywhere near the tri-county area where these asshats are the law. Please follow up on this Xavier.

Thanks

Bill "Depicts"

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, your points concerning the Deputy's reckless disregard for public safety are on the mark.

On a side note, it's just raining stupid all over the place.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NV0tP05mG7I

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, I just called the Sheriff's office to speak my outrage. I spoke to the Dispatcher, a very polite woman named Candy.

When I told her how repulsive I thought the incident was, she told me she would have the Sheriff call me back on Monday if I wanted.

We got to talking, as she was very pleasant and willing to discuss the story.

She said that it was "County rules" that led to the dog being shot. She said this in response to my asking if the Sheriff had DIRECTED his Deputy to go and shoot the dog.

Candy said during our conversation, that she supports her Deputy. I asked why and she told me that we are only hearing half the story, and when we hear the other half, we might change our minds.

I told her it was despicable anyway. I said even if the dog had bitten 10 people, or if MY dog had bitten ten people, I'd expect our towns animal control officer to come, quarantine the dog, and if needed, put him down in a Vet approved manner.
No suffering, and least of all no gun shots.

I told her if someone came to do that to my dog, without court papers, they'd be more trouble than there is now.

I told her I was sending money to the Barbozza family to help their lawyer get the Sheriff and the Deputy fired.

She replied, you may change your mind when you hear the other side of the story.

I asked "HOW" will I hear the other side. She said.... "I hope the Sheriff will make a statement on Monday.

I think this sucks. Sucks times 20.

I guess I'm just venting, but I'm glad I don't live anywhere near the tri-county area where these asshats are the law. Please follow up on this Xavier.

Thanks

Bill "Depicts"

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a sheriff's deputy in Texas I am shocked to read this story. I don't know about the other side of the story and I will not jump to conclusions but I don't believe it was handled correctly at all. This sort of thing gives all law enforcement a black eye whether justified or not.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF the story is as reported, it is pretty sick.
But, I am wondering what homeowner answers a door one day and just says "Oh, you are here to shoot my dog with no cause. No paperwork? No problem. Here, let me tie my faithful friend to a tree so you can shoot him. Yep, I'll just leave him there til he bleeds out. Thanks officer." Come on. There has to be more to the story. Nobody with a full deck complies and reacts like this.
Euthanizing a captive,compliant animal on site is a no go any way you cut it.
Keep us posted.
Chet

4:18 PM  
Blogger Matt G said...

Good. Gawd.

I was bitten by a German shepard one day, while investigating the fact that the dog had 20 minutes before ripped the ankle out of a 12 year old girl. There were six dogs there, and this dog was on the other side of a hedge. I had no idea she'd run through it and bite me as fast as she did. I even had a baton in my hand. She went through the hedge and bit me on the run before I could even bring it down.

As she ran away, I transitioned to my pistol, but there was no further threat. As the blood ran down my leg into my boot and sock, I called for animal control, and the dog's owner, who coaxed it into a cage. The dog was put to sleep.

I have to tell you, that right then and there with the pain in my leg and the knowledge that it had harmed a girl, I really, REALLY wanted to shoot that dog. We were in the country. It would have been safe. But the situation didn't merit it. We shoot immediate threats, not out of retaliation.

That deputy has made his bed.

"And cops still wonder why alot of people don't like them."

Sterno, that makes about as much sense as hating all firemen after hearing a story about an arsonist who works for a fire department.

I know that some folks believe that this guy's technique is the way we handle things universally, but it's not. Realize-- stories involving police misconduct always get airtime. Stories involving police shootings always get airtime. Stories involving abused pets will always get airtime. Stories involving traumatized children (getting off of schoolbuses) will always get airtime. This story has legs.

It can't help but be played far more often then the norm, which is what happened to me, and the way tens of thousands of officers deal with dog bite cases every year. The norm simply isn't news.

8:41 PM  
Blogger joel said...

Personally i would have greeted the Officer like i greet all unannounced visitors, pistol in hand loaded and cocked. "Come back when you have a warrant", would be my exact words. I know of no law that allows an officer to execute an animal without due process for the taking of my personal property.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous buzz_knox said...

" "I hope the Sheriff will make a statement on Monday."

It's Tuesday. Has the Sheriff made any statement that would justify the deputy's actions?

7:44 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Buzz,
I searched last night to find one for an update, but nothing was out there that I could locate.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I don't know if everyone has been paying much attention to this matter, but if my memory serves me right, the officer that shot the dog is suspended with pay. Now this just doesn't seem right to me. From what I've read and heard this guy has committed a crime in my mind. The only reason he's not in jail is because he's a cop.

But shouldn't the law apply to everyone? Oh almost forgot, if you think that this officer and the sheriff are total assclowns the you should here this. Two other cops are being investigated as well by the tri-county. One of insurance and the other for abuse of police powers. One is suspened without pay, while the other is still on the force.

Now this has totally taken away my respect for the Teton County Sheriff's office. What kind of cops a we electing and hiring on to serve our county? I think that this event has openned up the county's eyes about who we let protect us.

On a further note, this goes with the officer that shot the dog. How could you not kill that dog? Come on man the dog was tied up and maybe 15 to 30 feet away. A 10 year old could have made a better shot with a BB gun! And then why in you right mind would you use a rifle? Well since you such a super shot with a rifle i wonder how good you are with a pistol?

Plus what was going throught this guy's head when he tried to murder this dog in front a bus full of kids, a trailer park and the victim's family. This guy is just plain sick. What if he hit a person that was in the back ground.

From what i remember a 22 will travel about mile to half a mile before it has no more velocity. Now imagine a 30.06 or 9mm. I think this guy needs a phyic evaluation as well.

So I guess that sums up my venting process. But I do agree with some of the earlier post about getting this pig fired.

6:59 PM  

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