Pet owners voice safety concerns to SLC council meeting

Posted at 10:03 PM, Aug 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-13 00:03:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- On June 18, a search for a missing child led a Salt Lake City police officer to a backyard in Sugarhouse, where he instead found a 2-year old Weimeraner named Geist.

What happened next was considered to be a justified shooting by the police department, a decision the dog’s owner believes was an injustice.

“Chief Burbank refusing to take any disciplinary action is his public condoning of the killing of my dog,” said Sean Kendall, Geist’s owner.

He took to city hall to voice his frustrations on Tuesday night.

“This excuse that ‘I felt threatened’ is not ok,” said Kendall.

He and a crowd of supporters packed the council meeting to demand city council members intervene.

“I don’t feel like enough action, or really any action, has been taken to prevent this from happening again,” said one resident.

The council, however, can’t decide what happens to the officer involved or necessarily what happens next, as they reminded everyone in attendance.

“The executive branch, which is headed by the mayor, is responsible for the hiring and firing of city employees. The council, as the legislative branch, has no authority to hire or fire administrative employees,” said councilor, Erin Mendenhall, District 5.

But many were still hoping their efforts here could lead to a change in the future, recommending the city adopt a non lethal force policy for the department.

“What does the police department propose to keep our pets safe on our own private property? How do we as property owners protect our right of privacy, guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution? This is deeply concerning,” said a resident.

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