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Marine’s support dog shot by police


A former Marine sniper’s support dog was shot by police in Dacono, Colo., after escaping from his yard and acting in what police say was an aggressive manner.

Mongo, a 3-year-old pit bull, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

His owner, James Vester, is seeking an explanation and an apology from police, whose behavior, he noted, seemed more like something you’d see on the streets of Iraq.

“I didn’t think I would see that again. You see it in Iraq — and then you see your best friend here get shot,” said Vester, who got Mongo, a certified emotional support dog, to alleviate stress after returning from combat.

Vester said he was doing yard work when Mongo got loose. A neighbor called police because Mongo began barking at her dogs from across a fence. When two officers arrived, Mongo barked and growled and lunged at one of them, according to police reports.

Some neighbors disputed the police account, according to Fox 31 News in Denver.

“There was no noise at first, I just heard the gunshot — then the dog started crying,” said Heather Viera, who was told by police to go back inside her home when she stepped outside.

Another neighbor, Jenny Stevens, says she was a few hundred feet down the road, walking her dogs, when she heard the shot. She said she didn’t hear any barking or growling before it was fired. “It was dead silent. There was not a bark, there wasn’t a growl. The cop did not say stop to the dog, the cop didn’t yell anything.”

Dacono Police Chief Matthew B. Skaggs said an investigation was being conducted.

“I think it is important to remember these things develop very quickly,” the chief said. “If you look in the report, the officer did say specifically that the dog got within six feet of him and at that point he felt like it was his only option.”

Comments

Comment from James C. Orvis
Time May 9, 2013 at 8:49 am

Considering the anti-pit bull hysteria going on in Colorado it isn’t too surprising that Mongo was shot.

Comment from Julie Jo
Time May 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

Such a shame and probably not even called for. I hope the dog recovers.

Comment from smoketoomuch
Time May 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

One word comes instantly to mind: “Epidemic”.

Comment from Vinny
Time May 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Anyone who knows me knows I love dogs, Mongo is sweet dog, but he can be very intimidating. It is sad very sad, but I also understand. Don’t be so quick to judge the police. If I didn’t know Mongo, I probably would have shot the dog too. He is scary. I would be hysterical if it happened to one of my dogs.

Last time I checked (about a month ago) Mongo was not/is not have a certified emotional support dog. I really hope Mongo is will be okay.

Nevertheless, James (in my opinion) is no Marine hero. He was never a snipper, and although he was in Iraq once, it was in a safe area. Safe meaning he did not even earn combat bars for being in a combat/dangerous place.

Before people take people at their word, VERIFY. Check James service record. Most everything written about James is untrue. Do some research, James is a felon, on parole and in my opinion the dangerous person! Before buying a sob story check it out, be careful with the facts.

Comment from BiteVictim
Time May 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Another low life irresponsible pet owner with a pit bull. Big surprise. Losers buy these aggresive intimidating pits, dont take care of them, dont train them, let them run wild then cry foul when the police have to protect the public. Better yet they’re pit gets out and attacks someone and they blame the victim. Shelters and craigs list adoption pages are over-run with abandoned pit bulls. Low class individuals and pitbulls go hand and hand like flies on shit.

Comment from Zoe Skarlatos
Time May 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

It is an unfair comment to state, that low class individuals and pittbulls go hand in hand. That is so untrue….. The low class individuals, in my opinion are individuals that have no empathy and compassion. I for one love pittbulls. If you were ever to be attacked in the street or in your home, by a demented and callas individual, then we would both agree, that the low life, would be that evil human being. Because one has adopted a pittbull, that does not make them a low life. I am sorry for your experience, but i am certain that if you had been attacked by a mad man, you would clearly come to know the difference between a low life and a normal human being.

Comment from Jen Brighton
Time May 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I, too, am sorry for your tramua, BiteVictim, and can even understand your anger. However, I’ve been bitten by 3 dogs, none of which were a pit bull. Two of the incidents required visits to the doctor. But how is lumping all pit bull owners together and calling them “lowlife individuals” any different than me saying every dog bite victim did something to cause the dog to bite? Which, by the way, I know is an untrue statement. Blanket statements about anything hold no merit.

Comment from gabe mart
Time July 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

Stop this maddness!! Just saw this dog get killed too!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDBZr4ie2AE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Comment from JANET
Time July 5, 2013 at 1:24 am

THE COP TOLD HER TO GO BACK INSIDE. BULLCRAP I WOULD HAVE STOOD THERE WITH MY CELL PHONE TAKING PICTURES.

Comment from JANET
Time July 5, 2013 at 2:03 am

VINNY I LOOKED UP THIS MAN’S NAME & ALL I SAW WAS SOMEONE WITH THE SAME NAME ARRESTED FOR DRUGS BUT THAT DON’T MEAN IT’S THE SAME MAN,THAT JAMES WAS ONLY 23. THE MAN IN THE VIDEO LOOKS OLDER. IF YOU HAVE PROOF OF EVERY THING YOU ARE CLAIMING THEN LETS SEE IT. UNTIL THEN I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD YOU HAVE TO SAY.

Comment from Barbara Ann
Time July 5, 2013 at 2:13 am

Hearing the dog moaning in pain nearly did me in!!

Is it possible to give us an update on this write up please…thank you

Comment from Tammy
Time July 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

I don’t believe that dog just “lunged” at the officer for no reason at all. I don’t believe the dog was threatening at all. I believe the police officer shot the dog just because he is a ‘Pit Bull.’ I have a Pit Bull, yes, he will bark at people WHILE wagging his tail and walk up to them, while wagging his tail, for attention. He’s VERY friendly.

Comment from Donna
Time July 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Maybe its time police departments reevaluate their policies and procedures and change their damn “protocols”. The public is growing tired of law enforcement officers using lethal force on family pets when less than lethal options are available AND work! Additionally, an internal investigation is like having the fox watch the hen house, it’s a complete joke and the officers never get in trouble for discharging their side arm. The world is beginning to view police as dog killers, big bullies that are afraid of a dog. Unless a dog is locked onto your arm or leg with no intent to let to, use a F’ing taser!!!!

Comment from Anon
Time February 14, 2014 at 1:59 am

I know vester. To my knowledge, he never was a sniper, but tells people that. Was a marine reservist and served once in Iraq – low combat (?). Kind of a low IQ moron and felon. Caught in a drug ring. Tells lies. My wife gets afraid around him. I don’t know. Weird dude. Wanted to tell the truth. Sorry for what happened to you, Mongo.

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