An Oklahoma family is demanding justice after a police officer shot and killed their dog and then allegedly bragged about the incident with a fellow officer.
Ardmore, Okla., resident Sarah Brown says her 2-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier, Cali, escaped her yard on Wednesday, March 19. Brown’s family and neighbors set off in search of Cali while those who’d seen the dog called the local animal control department for help in catching her.
Ardmore Police Officer Brice Woolly arrived on the scene just before animal control pulled up. As Cali made her way towards a nearby park, Officer Woolly went to his car for his shotgun then shot Cali in the neck, severely wounding her. According to the police report, Cali was still breathing, so Officer Woolly asked an animal control officer to end Cali’s life with a .22 caliber pistol. Cali died in the street, her worried family still searching for her.
Ten minutes after Cali was killed, Brown approached police officers — including Officer Woolly — unaware of her dog’s fatal shooting. When she asked if they’d seen Cali, Officer Woolly spoke up.
“We shot your dog,” he said, “she’s dead.”
When a distraught Brown asked why Cali was shot, she was told that it was because she “had been a continuing nuisance and [they] were unable to determine who owned the dog.”
But Brown insists Cali was a friendly, sweet dog who didn’t deserve to be shot in the street. She says her neighbors have never complained that Cali had behaved aggressively.
“I cried so much and just began to figure out what needed to be done because I knew this [was] totally unjust,” Brown remembers.
Later that afternoon, Brown’s neighbor revealed that he’d overheard Cali’s death and a disturbing conversation between the officer responsible and an animal control officer.
The neighbor says he heard the shotgun blast first, then heard Officer Woolly boasting about the event.
“Did you see the way its collar flew up into the air when I blew its head off? It was awesome!” Officer Woolly allegedly bragged to an animal control officer following Cali’s shooting.
Then, FOX 25 Oklahoma City reports, when the neighbor asked the officers if they’d shot his dog through the backyard fence too, the animal control officer allegedly said they did because the dog had barked at the mailman. The neighbor hurried back into his house to check on his dog when he heard a second shot. He says the officers were carrying Cali’s body away as he walked back outside.
The neighbor then says he allegedly overheard Officer Woolly tell the animal control officer how he was going to get away with killing Cali.
“We are just going to write this up in the report as the dog tried to attack me and you and others in the neighborhood,” the neighbor reported overhearing that day. He told other police officers that it sounded as if Officer Woolly was allegedly attempting to coach the animal control officer about what to say in their incident reports.
Cali isn’t the first Pit Bull Terrier shot and killed by Officer Woolly. This year, Woolly also reported shooting a Pit Bull he says had been acting aggressively towards children. He shot the dog four times with his sidearm before the dog fell dead to the ground.
“I don’t think it’s prudent and I don’t think it’s wise for the police department to wait until a dog acting aggressively actually bites somebody,” Hamblin says.
“It was determined that the dog had to be euthanized for the safety of the nearby park and neighborhood as the dog’s owner could not be located, nor could it be captured,” the police report reads, according to KFOR.com.
Animal advocates are crying foul, however, demanding that Officer Woolly be relieved of his duties or step down from his position on the Ardmore Police force. A Change.org petition called “Justice for Cali” has earned more than 22,000 signatures so far.
Cali’s case is currently closed, but Brown hopes one day, her late dog’s voice will be heard.
For future updates on the “Justice for Cali” movement, check out Brown’s special Cali Facebook page.