Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


San Diego Cop Shot Beloved Dog 'To Protect Himself From Being Bitten'

Burberry and Ian Anderson celebrating the dog's 5th birthday (Photo via Facebook)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

San Diego police are looking into the case of a police officer who shot of a man's beloved service dog. They offered up a different version of events than the dog's owner.Ian Anderson, 24, has been devastated by the loss of Burberry, a 6-year-old pitbull who was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call in Anderson's Pacific Beach neighborhood at about 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.

SDPD has revealed that the two officers were directed to the house via a call reporting a woman screaming "as though she was being strangled," the L.A. Times reports. There were no arrests made relating to the domestic disturbance call, and Anderson believes the police came to the wrong house. SDPD spokesperson Lt. Scott Wahl did not confirm or deny this, the Times of San Diego reports.

Surveillance footage from Anderson's apartment shows Burberry running outside to meet the two officers. One appears to reach down and pet the dog. The other draws his gun and backs away from the dog. When Burberry chases him off-screen, the officer fires and shoots Burberry in the head. According to Anderson, Burberry was just excited. The police have a different version of the story.

SDPD says that Anderson tried to block a growling Burberry from running outside several times, but "ultimately, the owner failed to restrain the dog." They say the first officer attempted to calm the dog by extending his hand while the second officer retreated. Police said that "as a last resort, the officer used lethal force to protect himself from being bitten."

Support for LAist comes from

The SDPD has not released the name of the officer who shot Burberry, but a video taken by Anderson's friend after the shooting identifies him as 'Officer Jackson.'

Anderson has repeatedly said that Burberry was a friendly animal and a registered service dog, who also brought comfort to children with autism and Down syndrome. In photos posted on Anderson's "Justice for Burberry" Facebook page, the dog is seen having a birthday party, being carried like a giant baby and socializing with humans. Burberry's death has sparked considerable outrage, and there is a petition circulating online calling for police to receive training on how to deal with pets.