Teddy Padilla remembers his wife Ada calling him, but it’s what she told him which still seems surreal.
“They police shot Choco!”, Ada told her husband, who raced home to find Rochester, NY Police officers in front of his 97 Bleacker St. home, on Rochester’s east side.
“I pull up to my home and I get out and the first thing I ask the officers is what’s going on, and the officer tells me we had to shoot your dog” Teddy Padilla, his grey long sleeve shirt showing smears of his Choco’s blood.
“I said what do you mean you shot my dog, and the officer, very nonchalant says ‘yep, we had to shoot your dog’, I couldn’t believe it.”
Here’s what is known.
Around 6:00 p.m., Ada Padilla was in her home when she heard Choco, a pit bull terrier, barking.
Ada then looked out of an upstairs window and saw a Rochester Police cruiser in front of the house.
“I ran downstairs and the officer was saying ‘Get your dog, get your dog’, and I said to him I’m trying, but the officer kept moving all over the place, then Choco ran in the house and the officer walked up as if to talk to me and Choco came back out but he was never aggressive and he never charged at the officer, it was more like he was excited but not aggressive and then the officer that had stayed inside the police car all this time got out of the car, walked up, took out his gun and shot Choco”, said Ada Padilla.
“Then Choco ran inside the house crying and bleeding from his mouth, there was blood everywhere, and he ran inside his crate, scared.”
The Padillas rushed Choco to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic on White Spruce Blvd., where Choco underwent emergency surgery, which will cost the family between $950.00 and $1,200.00.
There are people who own dogs who should not own dogs.
Then there are people like the Padillas.
Responsible, loving, dog owners.
I’m sure the RPD officers thought that Choco was just another pit bull in the city.
They were wrong.
Choco is licensed and registered.
Choco is not just a dog.
He is a member of the Padilla family.
And it shows.
At the clinic, the Padillas were besides themselves, completely distraught.
When I first spoke with Teddy Padilla, on the phone, he was crying, telling me “They shot my dog, they shot my dog, I love my dog!”
Later, back at their home, I met with the Padillas, and I learned something very interesting.
Something which was yet more proof of just how responsible the Padillas are as pet owners.
Teddy Padilla told me that he had installed a 6 foot high fence on his property.
Then, the City of Rochester made him take it down, telling him that the fence could not be more than 3 feet tall.
Somehow, Choco got out of his yard Thursday evening.
Like dogs do.
And two Rochester, NY Police officers showed up.
Then, ironically, the officer who stayed in the patrol car, is the one who gets out and shoots an innocent family dog.
Not the primary officer who mistook an energetic dog, for a supposedly ‘aggressive’ one.
And just like that, another trigger-happy RPD officer shoots an innocent family dog.