[UPDATE 9:19 p.m.] ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ Dog Shot in Eureka Near Ross Park
Last night about 7 p.m., a dog was shot in the yard of a residence on 11th Street in Eureka near Ross Park. Cynthia Bowser, who has helped rescue animals for the last 18 years, said she usually walks around the park in the evening in with her two elderly dogs. “I saw a brown dog run across the street,” she explained. She said it looked like maybe it was a mix of Staffordshire pit bull and Boxer.
She was concerned so she kept an eye on the dog. It appeared to be very friendly she said. “It wasn’t bothering anybody–just a happy-go-lucky dog running through the park.”
At one point, she described hearing a boy whistle the dog over and pet it. “I asked, ‘Is that your dog?’ she said. But, according to her, the boy said, ‘I don’t know whose dog it is, but it is really sweet.’
Bowser said she watched the dog leave the park and she decided she had better try and catch it to be sure it was safe. “I’ve been in Rescue for years with Friends for Life” she explained. “I’ve worked with the Shelter. If I see a dog out running, we try to help a dog get back to its owner.” So she hurried towards home to leave her dogs and get a leash.
Then she heard a shot. “I got a sinking feeling,” she said. “I grabbed the leash and got my phone.”
She hurried towards where she had last seen the dog. It was dead. “I saw the dog laying in the yard,” she said. “He’d been shot. I just started screaming, “Who shot this dog?”
A couple of the little kids around saw the dog and they were upset. According to Bowser, a little girl asked, “Is he okay?” Bowser said she told her she shouldn’t look and the dog wasn’t okay.
Bowser said other people started gathering saying they had heard the shot but they didn’t know if it was a firecracker or something else.
Bowser said she went to the house where the dog was in the yard. “I went up to the house and banged on the door while I was calling 911. I was horrified… horrified…The operator said she would send an officer.”
While Bowser was waiting, she says she went next door to another house and and “banged” on the door while she was still on the phone with the operator. “The guy burst open his door,” she explained. She said the operator told her, “Do not engage that house. Back off.” So she did and the man went back inside.
“All the other neighbors were coming out but no one came out of the two houses,” she said. “The police got there. I just I told them what happened.”
One officer thought he recognized the dog and called the owner who came. “She had scrubs on and a tag,” Bowser said. “She was in shock and she was crying and screaming. She was shaking.”
Bowser said she saw the officers looking for a bullet casing. Then one of the police officers started to pound on doors. “It’s EPD…Open it right now,” Bowser said she heard. With an officer’s permission, she said, she left.
“Shock was just awful,” she said. “I just needed to come home…I sat down and just bawled. I don’t understand why someone would do something like that. ”
Later, with her dogs cuddled in her lap, she told us, “There were people in the park. There were kids. It was seconds after I saw [the dog] cross the street…Why did they shoot? The dog wasn’t doing anything.”
Bowser said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life…I hope to God they are going to be able to find out who did it.” Then she added, “Now, I want to warn my neighbors not to let out their dogs.”
According to Eureka Police spokesperson Katie Hill, “It doesn’t appear that a suspect was located at this time…[F]iring a gun inside City limits is a misdemeanor if it’s done in a reckless and negligence manner.”
UPDATE 7:45 p.m.: Press release from the Eureka Police Department:
On April 22, 2018, at about 7:07 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to the 1300 block of Eleventh Street for the report that a dog had been shot by an unknown suspect.
Upon arrival, Officers located the dog (a brown and white pitbull/mastiff) with what appeared to be a single gunshot wound. The dog was deceased. Officers checked the area and were unable to locate any witnesses of the actual shooting, but did locate subjects that heard what they believed to be a single gunshot. The owner of the dog was located and responded to the scene.
This is an open investigation being investigated by both Eureka Police Department officers and our animal control staff. Anyone with information is asked to call the Eureka Police Department Animal Control at (707) 441-4327.