DPD: Officer ‘did the right thing’ preventing man from helping injured dog who died

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DENVER — An online petition claims officers from the Denver Police Department showed “a complete lack of tact, respect, professionalism and compassion” in delaying the possible rescue of a slowly dying dog this week.

Connor Leiva of Englewood posted the petition to Change.org on Thursday. In the petition, it was suggested that Denver Police officers prevented concerned bystanders from caring for a dog that was hit by a car on Wednesday night for 90 minutes before the animal died from its injuries.

Several concerned citizens who left comments on the petition also suggested that Animal Control officers took 90 minutes to respond to the incident. Cheryl Hoffman of Bailey wrote that when those officers did arrive on scene, they were seen carrying the dog’s dead body away from the area, “laughing while doing so.”

Richard Marquez of Aurora, another concerned citizen who posted a comment on the petition, claimed police told a bystander trying to help the animal that he was “disturbing an ongoing investigation” and that he “would be arrested” if he didn’t leave the scene.

Officers reportedly told the bystander they were “following protocol,” according to several citizens who posted comments.

Friday afternoon the Denver Police Department issued a statement on YouTube. Spokesman Sonny Jackson said “We are stuck between a rock and a hard place, because we got to protect the public, we got to protect the dog, and we are not the experts in moving the dog or treating the dog.”

Animal Control Supervisor Lt. Aaron McSpadden said in the video that injured dogs can be unpredictable, even to their owners.

Leiva said he wants an apology.

“It can make a difference,” Leiva suggested, “by ensuring that future situations of this delicate nature could be handled more promptly and with an increased sense of professionalism and empathy.”