Owner of dog killed by cop sues Salt Lake City PD for $1.5 million

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 00:24:37-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A dog was shot and killed by Salt Lake City police in June of this year, and now the dog's owner says he is suing the police department for $1.5 million in damages.

Sean Kendall said police violated his Fourth Amendment rights when an officer entered his backyard and had a fatal encounter with Kendall's dog, Geist. The dog was shot by the officer, who said he felt threatened by the animal.

"Geist was my best friend for two and a half years," Kendall said.

Police said in the past they believe they were justified in entering the yard, as they were searching for a 3-year-old child with disabilities who had been reported missing. That child was later located inside the child's home.  Kendall said the search was poorly executed and led to a violation of  his rights as well as in Geist's death.

Kendall had previously been offered a settlement in the case, which he declined as he said he wanted to focus on lobbying for change in the way officers are trained in encounters with animals. He has been active in numerous protests regarding the way police respond to animals.

Salt Lake City Police Department officials declined to speak regarding the pending litigation.

FOX 13 News' Caroline Connolly has more on this story, see the video above for her report.