A faulty gate at the home of two boxer-breed dogs allowed the animals to leave the property and go to Laurie Meadows Park in San Mateo on Monday afternoon, where they were both fatally shot by police, according to the Peninsula Humane Society.
Police reported that the two dogs were acting “threatening and attacking” people — including a small dog and child — before cops were called.
But the male and female purebred boxers, each 2 years old, were spayed and neutered, according to Scott Delucchi of the Peninsula Humane Society. The dogs had no previous run-ins with the law.
“They had no prior history of wrongdoing,” Delucchi said. “And I heard they were great with kids — there’s at least a 6-year-old in the family that owned them.”
San Mateo cops responded to Laurie Meadows Park around 4:20 p.m. Monday after receiving numerous “frantic” 911 calls about the two vicious dogs, according to police Sgt. Dave Norris.
Some adults “bravely placed themselves in harm’s way by positioning themselves between the vicious animals and the children in the park” before police arrived, according to Norris.
No one had been bitten by the dogs.
When officers arrived, they took the place of the adults and helped clear the park, but the dogs continued to approach the officers in a threatening manner, Norris said. At that point, officers used their Tasers on the animals, to no avail.
“They had to disable them quickly,” Norris said Monday. “They took the ultimate option and one dog was mortally wounded.”
The first dog was killed at the scene before the humane society officers arrived, according to Delucchi. The second dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian in San Mateo, but it died hours later. Delucchi said the family and the two small children who owned the dogs were by its side.
It is unknown which dog was killed instantly and which died later.
Delucchi said the incident is sad and the humane society is hoping police acted in the best way they felt necessary.
“We have to trust they felt there was a significant threat and this is what they had to do,” he said.
The 7.5-acre park is located in a residential neighborhood in the southern part of the city. It is popular with area residents and visitors.
Norris said the shooting is under investigation because the officer opened fire. But the officer was not placed on administrative leave, which is protocol during officer-involved shootings involving humans.