Suspend Police Officer Who Gunned Down Family’s Golden Retriever

Target: St. Louis Police Department Chief Patrick Herblet

Goal: Personally apologize to the family whose Golden Retriever was murdered as an act of police brutality and suspend the officer responsible

The incident occurred in Gratiot County of St. Louis, Michigan. Neighbor Lori Wimsley was outside at the time and said that 8-year-old Golden Retriever Scout was playing outside. He ran to her yard as she called him over to play, and shortly after ran back into his own yard when a police officer appeared on the scene. He attempted to catch the dog after asking Wimsley whether the dog was hers and learning that it was not. Upon cornering the dog, and producing from it a “little growl”, the officer proceeded to shoot the dog in the head several times.

Protestors would later form a group at the site of the shooting and march to St. Louis City Hall and Clapp Park, where around 100 supporters were present with their own pets, t-shirts, and signs. St. Louis Police Chief Patrick Herblet has told the media that “he and the officer that fired the shots are very sorry for the Goetzinger’s loss, but he said he cannot take any further action against the officer with the information that is available to him at this time.”

This is not satisfactory, and the dog’s owner Brian Goetzinger is asking for an apology from either the officer or the department, as well as consideration that the officer step down from his position if not at least suspended. The reasoning many feel is that the officer no longer stands as a respectable authority figure. These requests are appropriate, while the officers actions clearly were not. Demand that the family receives its apology and that the officer face suspension.


Dear Chief Herblet,

One of your officers recently gunned down an 8-year-old Golden Retriever named Scout in an unprovoked incident when he was found playing outside his house. You have stated that action against the officer with the “information provided” cannot be made. Even in the event that the dog had showed slight aggression, the actions taken by your officer were completely unacceptable and inappropriate, reflecting on your department in an extremely poor manner.

It is necessary that the officer in question give a personal apology to the dog’s owner, Brian Goetzinger, first and foremost. Moreover, residents have voiced their opinions that the officer can no longer be viewed as a respected person of authority within the community. Because of this, we ask that you suspend the officer from duty and consider the possibility of relieving him of his position. The gravity of the killing should not be ignored or overlooked; a lack of respect for a member of the community, human or not, was shown in the most aggressive and final way possible. It is your duty as a responsible leader and community protector to maintain the respectability of your department and show that such behavior will not go without consequence.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hawkeye Pilot via Flickr

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  1. Daniela Bress says:

    There’s absolutely NO reason to shoot a Golden Retriever !!!

    Sorry, but even if such a dog bites you in your leg you won’t get hurt that much that you have to shoot at him !!!

    An officer with such few nerves should only work inside an office – he’s a danger for society !!!

    For murdering this poor little innocent soul he has to be punished with highest sentence and when he gets out of jail – ONLY INSIDE WORK!

    • Jeffrey L. Wiles says:

      I’m fully same page with you Daniela B. This scum bag should do prolonged jail time..and be canned right now!

    • As a owner of a Golden Retriever(my 3rd)I agree! They wouldn’t hurt a fly! I to am tired of reading about dogs being shot on their own properties for no apparent reason! There should be some kind of punishment for this cruel act!

  2. Murder is murder, and this time for no reason. Do your target practice on non living objects.

  3. For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause

    pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in

    return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and

    the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma.

  4. There is no reason to shoot any dog breed not just a golden retriever.the dog can be caught.Police have got to stop takeing there guns out of the holster when it comes to dogs,and that starts with there superiors putting a stop to it.

  5. This is disgusting! i’ve read so many articles like this lately with cops shooting dogs for no reason. Do cops not carry capsicum spray and a taser? It would still be horrible to use such devices on a dog but if a cop felt a dog was to attack, then i feel it would be the better option. It would cause the dog to back down or run off and at least the dogs life would not be lost. I do hope this officer gets whats coming to him!

  6. Has it ever said what the officer was doing there? It sais an officer appeared on the scene. What does that mean? Was he called there? Did he just happen to be passing by and saw the dog lose? If so, why did he feel it was necessary to catch the dog. If they aren’t a threat don’t the police call animal control for lose dogs? Did he really think a goldie was a muderous threat? In my opinion, he is the murderous threat and should not be allowed to carry a gun.

  7. The non-stop slaughter of innocent with no consequence has got to stop now. The only thing that will deter people is harsh punishment.

  8. This police officer should be fired immediately! This was absolutely unnecessary and I am so sick and tired of people’s pets being shot by the police. Come on now Mr. Oinker – you couldn’t figure out how to handle this animal? I would not trust you as a police officer period – you would probably shoot innocent people as well. This cop should not be allowed to carry a gun or be a cop – disgusted…

  9. These cops let their badges go to their heads! They think they’re exempted from anything and everything. I think an example should be made from this guy. I don’t know of one Golden Retriever that is an aggressive dog. These cops are nothing but GUN HAPPY!

  10. Allison Anderson says:

    Can we start gunning down police officers when they trespass on our property? Why do they have so much power?? The officer in this story needs to be terminated!

  11. The police arse wipe “officer” is far more DANGEROUS than the golden retriever could ever be! The poo poo “officer” is a loose cannon and HE IS far more of a threat to society than people realize! Screw an apology he should be fired from his job! God help any individual that comes across this sociopath. Thank goodness it was not my dog, I do know what I would do.

  12. TRUDY NICKOLS says:


  13. An eye for an eye…He will certainly get the justice he deserves…Don’t forget the laws of Karma…

  14. Scout was in his yard playing!! Simple as that, why did the cop trespass on private property to begin with? He had no business even being their, and then to shoot him in the head. No, something needs to be done with the officer. I say fire him before he decides to shoot a human in the head for some little thing.

  15. SUE GRIFFITHS says:

    Officers should be told that NO MORE ANIMALS TO BE SHOT. End of. If any cop doesn’t know how to deal with animals, they shouldn’t be out on the beat with a gun. Give them a desk job or the sack.

  16. Everyone in this town should stand up and voice their opinion to the Police dept. That is the most likely way that this unfit person will be suspended. You can bet if he shot an unarmed child that he would be gone, well, he shot an unarmed animal and in my book there is not much difference.

  17. Jasmin Horst Seiler says:

    Deadly assault with a weapon on an innocent dog, should be a crime of the severity as assaulting an innocent citizen , and be punishable in the same manner, it is high time.

  18. I’m curious what this cop’s excuse is for shooting the dog in the first place. Was he frightened because the dog gave a little growl. What did he expect! Cop was on his property and intimidating dog. Shouldn’t have started anything in the first place. Just ask the people standing around who’s dog it is. And why did he need to know anyway no tags? Take note folks, this could happen to us by a cop with that attitude.

  19. I have no respect for any authority anymore, I haven’t for awhile. All I hear in the news is how some dumbass cop is killing animals, shooting people by accident or someone who is unarmed. Hell, police chiefs killing their wives. Karma is a bitch, no pun intended.

  20. Golden etrievers are a particularly non aggressive dog breed. When cornered i would expect even retrievers to growl as a warning. Someone who interpreted this as aggression would indivate absolutely no knowledge of canine behaviour. The officer concerned should be stood down until he has satisfactorily completed a course in basic animal behaviour.

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