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Family demands justice for Bear-Bear

Authorities in Anne Arundel County say they won’t file charges against a federal officer who entered an off-leash dog park with his leashed German shepherd and shot a Siberian husky who he thought was playing too roughly with his dog.

Bear-Bear, a 3-year-old brown and white husky, was playing in the Quail Run dog park at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when the officer and his wife arrived with a German shepherd, who was kept on a leash.

According to the Baltimore Sun, when the dogs began to play roughly, the federal officer asked Bear-Bear’s guardian — the brother of the dog’s owner — to call off the dog. Then, seconds later, he pulled out a gun and shot Bear-Bear.

Bear-Bear died of his injuries a few hours later.

Anne Arundel County police, astonishingly, have not named the federal officer, and — equally astonishingly — say no charges will be filed against him. No further investigation appears to be taking place.

“I’ve been bawling my eyes out since 7 p.m. last night,” Rachel Rettaliata, Bear-Bear’s owner, told the Sun. “It’s grief mixed with anger. We’re so angry this guy was able to take our animal for what we feel was no reason at all…We still don’t believe that he’s gone. We just want so badly to be diligent about this. [The officer] has to pay some sort of consequence for his foolishness.”

Rettaliata adopted Bear-Bear about two years ago from a husky rescue. He’d been seized from a Delaware home where people had tied him up outside and neglected him.

Bear-Bear was a regular at the dog park in Quail Run, a community of townhomes. Neighbors say the park is generally an easygoing place where well-mannered dogs play with one another.

“I’ve never personally seen him be aggressive toward any dog or human or anything, for that matter,” Tarnna Hernandez, who lives two doors down from the Rettaliatas, told the Sun.

“I have not seen that dog hurt anyone. Or snarl. He’s never even barked,” she said. “His only way was to get out a gun out and shoot him? Uh-uh. It’s completely unbelievable.”

The manager of the homeowner’s association, Dorothy Pearce, called the shooting “tragic…A community of homeowners with children playing around should not have gun-crazy, off-duty policemen shooting in their area, especially a dog in a controllable situation.”

According to Rettaliata, Bear-Bear didn’t cry out when shot.  “He just went and laid down,” she said.

Carolyn Kilborn, chairwoman of Maryland Votes for Animals, based in Annapolis, said the case should be further investigated.

“The killing of the dog in Severn is a sad situation that should be investigated carefully to determine if the incident was caused by a dangerous dog or a dangerous person,” she said.

A “Justice for Bear-Bear” Facebook page has been established, encouraging concerned citizens to contact county authorities through this email address.


Pingback from Dog Shot at Dog Park . . . no Charges Filed
Time August 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

[…] on this .. . I've joined the Facebook group: Family demands justice for Bear-Bear | ohmidog! Charges need to be filed. I don't think they will be, but the only way we can stop law enforcement […]

Comment from mm
Time August 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

It seems the sickest members of society are government agents, whose sicko behavior rarely gets held accountable.

The unintended consequences of this kind of thing is coming…at some point.

Law enforcement at all levels is becoming brutal, militarized, and out of control.

They are real good at covering up their own actions while abusing the rest of us.

The local authorities appear to be thoroughly corrupt as they won’t even investigate. If a non-government person had fired a weapon under similar circumstances…well, you know things would be progressing differently.

That sicko Fed has no business having a badge or a weapon, and should be fired and prosecuted…don’t hold your breath waiting for such…

Comment from Lakota, Sophie, Charlie, Cleo’s mom
Time August 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Crying on my keyboard over this…

Comment from debbie
Time August 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

This is truly a heartwrenching story. We too had a beloved companion who was shot ( not by law enforcement, but , we suspect, by a neighbor) I don’t understand if someone feels there is some type of danger or threat involving a dog, why not shoot into the air? Nine times out of ten a dog is going to do what dogs do best. Run..Why was the first reaction to shoot to kill?Besides, Why would an off duty ‘officer’ take a gun to the dog park?
What happened to peace officers and the friendly policeman that cared for the welfare of others and sincerely wanted to protect and serve? Disusting, but what is more so is that we allow it to continue.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time August 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Just what we need. Another damned cowboy masquerading as a peace officer. I’m too angry to write any more. This evening’s news on WJZ seems to indicate that additional evidence may have been uncovered and that charges may be filed. I hope they’ll take into consideration that there were other people and dogs around, people walking around the neighborhood, and homes and streets nearby.

Comment from Caroline
Time August 5, 2010 at 1:20 am

This ain’t the end of this.

Comment from lin
Time August 5, 2010 at 9:51 am

Contact the governments Inspector General’s
Office and file a complaint with them it this is a federal employee.

Comment from Mary
Time August 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

If the paranoid officer didn’t want his dog bothered, why didn’t he remove it from the dog park vs. shooting someone’s pet? That cop needs to be fired ASAP. He has no integrity as a public servant.

Comment from David James Porter
Time August 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm

If only Bear-Bear’s parents had had a gun themselves they could have shot officer cowardly. Afterall, officer cowardly had just killed, they should have feared for THEIR lives, he might have gone after them next.

Comment from Christina LaMay
Time August 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Someone needs to start a petition on this, maybe through Care 2, and get this idiot prosecuted.

Comment from Patti M
Time August 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Just because this guy is an off-duty Federal law enforcement officer (Homeland Security, DEA, FBI???) does not give him the right to shoot a defenseless, innocent dog. Big dogs can play rough, that’s what they do. And all this jerk can think to do is pull a gun and kill the dog? He should not be allowed to carry a gun, on or off-duty!

Comment from janet
Time August 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

To the family of Bear Bear,I’m sorry for your loss. I think the Federal Officer used poor judgement in the shooting of Bear Bear. He should be charged. If he has owned other pets in the past , he should be able to recognize the difference between play and aggression between dogs. I am 64 yrs. old and have raised dogs since I was 6 yrs. old and have several different breeds of dogs. I now have 3 of my own. I have keep up with all of the newspaper articles and in my opinion Bear Bear was trying to play with Asia, not fight. I have never heard of a male dog attacking a female dog. Also the officer had no right carrying a loaded gun. What would happen if there were children in the park and the bullet had hit one of them and killed a child? Would the authorities have acted so fast to close the case then. Thanks to John Leopold for entering into this tragedy. It just hurts my feeling so bad for what had happened to this beautiful dog Bear Bear. I hope justice will be served. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Bear Bear. If you would like to email me please feel free to do so.

Comment from dlk
Time August 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm

To the family of bear bear, I am mortified at what happened. I am a resident of Anne Arundel county as well as a dog owner and lover. How cowardly!!!!!!! This federal officer has no business carrying a weapon into this park especially one with a hollow point bullet!!! I felt physically ill when I heard this story. Everyone needs to wake up when even the smallest of creatures is not safe. This guy should not only lose his job but there needs to be some other form of justice for the killing of this animal. And as far as the Anne Arundel County police are concerned, anyone who lives here won’t be surprised at their actions in this case.

Comment from Rosa
Time August 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Cannot believe this guy because he’s a COP is allowed to do this and not pay like us regular folk would be! I guess it pays to work for the Govt. as from what I see you’re allowed to do “anything” you want, when you want and to whom you want! People galoreshould writento his Superiors and do NOT let up until they do something. Contact every Newspaper, TV Station, all of them and get the word out how nothing has been done because of his job title! I mean do NOT stop until there is Justice for Near-Bear. I’ve learned what being a royal, :”B—-” can get ya, results. Backing down isn’t an option. Be ruthless. I’ll even get the ball rolling as trhis guy took it a bit ntoo far. He should have just turned around and left! Idiot! Doesn’t make a good showing of our Law Enforcement does it? I’m in PA and I take it this is in Md? So off I go!!!!!!!!!!!! This is for Bear-Bear. Anyone else care to join in?

Comment from Edward Jagodzinski
Time August 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

This officer is dangerous since his judgement is obviously suspect. He should be fired and charged.

Comment from Robin
Time August 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

This is terrible , sounds like another swelled headed cop, he should be brought up on charges and lose his badge. I ask myself what is he doing Firing off a weapon in this area, somebody needs to wake up, I hope everyone in that area doesn’t bring a gun and be as Stupid as he was, local authorities should be investigated too. I want Justice for BearBear.. JUSTICE

Comment from Robin
Time August 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm

BearBear you were a Beauty and you were Loved and I am so sorry this Idiot took your life but I believe all Dogs go to Heaven, so be at peace, run like the wind with your hair blowing, nostrils flared and happiness in your heart, you were Loved . America we need Justice for BearBear, let’s make it happen…

Comment from Chastity
Time August 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I think this is sick and inhuman for this officer to do that to this dog. There was no need for this to happen. If you dont want your dog to play with others than dont bring him to a damn dog park. I had a dog who I loved with all my life when I was a kid and he went next door to play with the neighbors dog and the neighbor though my dog was being mean even though nothing was happening with them and my dog was an old golden retriever and had a bad back and the guy went to hit him in the back with a 2 by 4 so my dog bit him in the hand. Hell yah I would have done the same thing. Then they guy called the animal control and had my dog taken away to be tested for rabies. I never saw my dog again even though he didnt have rabies. That broke my heart as a child. There should be justice for these animals who can not speak for themselves. They need humans like us who will speak up for them. I hope that officer rots in hell.

Comment from Didi
Time August 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

This is just unbeliveable. I have two Huskies around 3 yrs old so this story made me cry on my dogs fur. Hello idiot it’s an off-leash park!! German Shepards are bigger than sweet, innocent Huskies. I doubt the officer and dog were in any danger. You would think the officer would have a soul, being a dog owner himself. Bear-Bear, luckily you had the greatest 2 years of your short life. Have a wonderful time running wild with your fuzz flying in the breeze.

Comment from Anonymous
Time October 31, 2010 at 6:11 pm

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I have 2 dogs myself that I love and would be just as hurt to have anything happen to them so I understand the pain people feel. However, I am a Police Officer and based off of known facts to the case, I have to say that any officer would have done the same thing. It doesn’t even matter if a police officer was involved. Any civilian has an inherent right to denfend themselves and as long as they had a CCW, would have been justified in the shooting. How about you let the investigators investigate, let the lawyers argue the case and let justice decide whether he is innocent or guilty. All I see is a bunch of google lawyers screaming false rhetoric.

Comment from Turlough
Time February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Just another arrogant cop.

“…Any civilian has an inherent right to denfend themselves and as long as they had a CCW…”

The only peice of paper a US Citizen needs is the Constitution.