Police shoot dead much loved family dog following chase

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 28, 2022 |

Maverick was shot dead by a police dog handler

A police dog handler shot dead a “much loved family dog” following the pursuit of a stolen vehicle in Christchurch on Monday.

The dog owner’s partner Jess, told Chris Lynch that police had been involved in a car chase at about 3PM, which came to a stop on Thomas Street in Linwood.

The two occupants got out of their stolen car and jumped over several residential houses on Thomas Street.

Jess said the police told the family a police dog handler was jumping over a fence, when her partner’s dog went to grab the officer’s ankle, and the officer reacted by shooting the dog in the stomach, fatally injuring the animal.

Jess said her landlord was home at the time of the incident and the dog handler said he would return to explain the situation.

“Over the past few days, police have told us different stories on what happened, leaving us confused and angry.”

Jess said, “it’s not really fair that police can shoot a much-loved family pet dead on a private property of an innocent party, completely unrelated to their chase.”

“We’re trying to find out if the dog handler was wearing a body camera, as that would clear up any confusion straight away.”

Police had offered to pay for the dog’s cremation she said.

Jess said “Maverick wasn’t just a much loved family dog, he was an emotional support dog and a family member.”

Relieving District Commander for Canterbury, Superintendent Tony Hill confirmed the incident saying two offenders abandoned the car, but were seen by a Police Dog Handler.

“The handler quickly located one of the offenders who was allegedly in possession of a shotgun and ammunition. The officer then carried on tracking the second offender.

Photo: Supplied

This required him to enter the back of a property and as he was moving through, a dog has come out of an address and attacked the police dog by biting his throat.”

The dog then attacked the handler and then reattacked the police dog around the dog’s face the police Superintendent Hill said.

“Two other dogs have then come out of the property also. Despite trying to get free of the dogs, the handler was left with no option but to shoot the dog and get him to release his grip on the police dog.

The police dog sustained puncture wounds to his neck but is thankfully was doing okay Superintendent Hill said.

“The handler required medical treatment for injuries to his hand and leg. It is extremely unfortunate that this incident occurred and it is not something our staff ever want to do but our officer had to deal with the immediate danger to our police dog and himself.”

The handler and the dog still went on to locate the second offender and arrest him.

Both offenders are men aged 37 and now face serious charges.

Late Wednesday evening Jess said “what you’ve been told by the police is another story to the list now as there was no extra blood and the handler and dog walked out fine.

We know this as we had a witness. We are going to see if the people across the road who have a camera to see if they caught anything.”

The family was intending on seeking legal action, and friends had set up a A Give a little page to help with future costs.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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