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Dog owner speaks out after SLOPD officer shoots pet

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-28 02:38:08-04

Bubbers, the seven-year-old pitbull-boxer mix that was shot Thursday by a San Luis Obispo Police Officer in the driveway of a home on Santa Rosa Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, died Thursday night.

"It was just really weird this morning, you know, not having him scratching at the door to get into bed with us," said Riley Manford, Bubbers' owner.

Police were responding to reports of a burglary when they say Bubbers ran toward officers in a threatening manner.

Manford said Bubbers likely felt threatened by the officers' presence. She said from there, the situation escalated.

"This officer just wouldn't put his gun away," Manford said. "You know, he had a baton or if he was so scared, like, there are tasers."

Manford said Bubbers was only barking and protecting his territory, but Mariah Hall, who witnessed the encounter, said the police officer did what he had to do.

"The officers were sternly telling the owners of the dog to restrain the dog," Hall said. "They weren't really doing anything, they were just kind of arguing from their door."

Manford said she asked the officer to put his gun down so that she could retrieve Bubbers but said he did not.

"I wasn't going to put myself in front of a gun, especially now that this has happened," Manford said.

Veterinarians tried to save Bubbers, but after learning he would live with pain for the rest of his life, Bubbers' owners decided to put him to sleep.

According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the officer who shot Bubbers has been placed on administrative leave as an internal investigation takes place to make sure proper procedures were followed.