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Group Questions New Orleans Officer's Shooting Of Dog

NEW ORLEANS -- An investigation by the Humane Society of New Orleans says a police officer used excessive force when he shot a bit bull earlier this month.

And now, the group says they believe the officer falsified details leading up to the shooting. A wreath stands where Francis Washington's three-legged pit bull, Rocky, took his last breath on June 7.

"It's difficult to come out to the yard and not see him run to us," said Washington.

Rocky was shot twice by New Orleans Police Officer Anania Mitchell outside of his own home on Desire Street.

The police report says Mitchell and his partner, Melvin Wiltz, were chasing a suspect who ran into Washington's backyard. That's where the officers spotted Rocky.

The report says Mitchell entered a closed gate and shot the pit bull, but only after Rocky bit him on the ankle.

Washington recounts a different story. She said Mitchell kicked Rocky, and when she called for Rocky to re-treat, Mitchell fired his gun.

"When he got to me, that's when he collapsed at my feet, and my daughter held him until he took his last breathe," said Washington.

An investigation by the Humane Society said there are discrepancies in the officer's incident report.

"He fires (at) the dog in retreat," said Jeff Dorson, executive director with Humane Society. "Why do we know this? The bullet wound. The entry and exit were in the side, and it wasn't a dead-on shot in the front."

Humane Society officials say Mitchell used excessive force, and now the group is demanding Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas reactivate proper dog training for officers.

"Fifty percent of all homes have animals, especially dogs, so these officers are going to have to get better trained," said Dorson.

Police say new hires will recieve proper dog training through the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

They say veteran officers will continue training with the department's education and training division. Meanwhile, the NOPD's public integrity bureau is activately investigating the incident.

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