HEYBURN, Idaho (ABC4) — A Heyburn Police officer has been placed on administrative leave after shooting and killing two dogs running loose on I-84 last weekend, according to a release. The dogs had reportedly escaped their owner’s backyard earlier that day.
On May 27, shortly before 6 p.m., officers responded to the incident involving “two uncontrolled loose dogs” on the freeway. Police say the dogs were “causing traffic safety concerns.”
Police say the concern was that the speed limit on the freeway is 80 mph and that traffic would not be able to stop abruptly.
The release states that officers tried to capture the dogs, “whistling, calling, and shouting,” but that they were unsuccessful in doing so. “The dogs were not in range to use a taser,” police say.
“In fear for the motoring public with great potential of a rear end collisions,” noting that there was heavy traffic for Memorial Day, officers reportedly decided to shoot the dogs shortly after 6 p.m.
To be specific, police say officers arrived at 5:57 p.m. and shot the dogs at 6:03 p.m., just 6 minutes after their arrival.
“Each dog was shot once and removed from the roadway. Neither dog had tags,” the release states.
Heyburn Police say they “recognize the distress” that the incident has caused, particularly in light of a graphic video captured by a bystander showing the moments immediately following the shooting.
“These circumstances are not easy for first responders or the public,” Heyburn Police state.
Following up on the incident, the department says in a release that a neighboring law enforcement agency will be conducting an independent investigation into the shooting. “Their investigation will determine whether there were any violations of law and if there were any violations of the Heyburn Police Department Policy and Procedures.”
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
The dogs’ owner, Ashley Price, took to social media after the incident, stating the following:
I don’t like to post personal things on social media, but there has been so much shared on the situation. First of all, thank you to all those who tried to catch them to keep them safe. We are also VERY relieved no further accident happened as a result of them being in the road. We just want to make a few things clear. We were out of town and our fur babies were being taken care of by relatives. We love them and they were very well taken care of. We live in the country and we have a fenced in back yard and a large fenced in dog run they spend every day playing in. We checked our cameras at 5pm before we headed to dinner and Boomer (pyranese) and Luna (Weimaraner) were both still in their kennel. They reached a neighbors house by 5:35 pm then according to the Heyburn PD post they were called and dispatched at 5:50 pm arrived at 5:57pm, our babies were shot and killed by 6:03pm. These are the only facts we have at this time and have been in communication with the Police chief and will go in tomorrow to view their videos from dash and body cameras. Until then, please be kind and respect our family at this difficult time, we are mourning. If any one has any videos or pictures of our sweet babies during their rescue attempt please send them to me in a private message. Thank you.