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One Year Later, A Saskatchewan Woman Is Still Asking Why RCMP Officers Killed Her Dog

A cop used a shotgun to put down a family pet.

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The RCMP is being asked why officers shot and killed a dog during an arrest caught on video.


The incident took place on the Key First Nation in Saskatchewan in July of 2014.

The Mounties were there carrying out an arrest warrant for Adam Cote, a man wanted for a number of charges including aggravated assault.

The video was originally published last year but came to wider attention this week after being re-uploaded to LiveLeak.

The grainy cellphone footage was taken by Cote's girlfriend's sister and starts midway through the arrest. It shows the family's dog Duke lying on the grass when an officer calls out, "Get a shotgun to put this dog down." Another officer then approaches the dog with a shotgun and shoots him from a few feet away as the person filming cries for her pet.

"You didn't have to shoot my dog!"


In their original statement following the arrest in 2014, the Mounties said the dog had been aggressive and was "shot and killed after it attacked the RCMP Police Service Dog."

The Saskatchewan RCMP released another statement this week after dozens of messages on their Facebook page calling them "dog killers."

"After the initial firearm discharge, the wounded dog was lying in the grass injured and out of compassion was euthanized by the RCMP member," reads the statement.


The family disputes that Duke behaved aggressively.

Justine O'Soup, Cote's girlfriend, told CBC News the police overreacted and that Duke could still have been saved, despite being injured.

"Duke wasn't acting aggressive," she said. "Even if my dog was attacking the [police] dog, shooting him seven times in the body isn't the way to handle it. It's cruel the way they shot him. Why did my dog have to die?"

O'Soup has filed a formal complaint against the RCMP over the incident.

BuzzFeed Canada contacted O'Soup for comment.

The video contains graphic content.

View this video on YouTube

Stories of pet dogs being shot by police often lead to intense backlash against the police departments involved.

CTV Regina / Via

In 2013, for example, the Regina police department had to temporarily shut down its Facebook page after a flood of outrage over the death of a pitbull shot dead by an officer during a foot chase.

Meanwhile a petition calling for "Justice for Dukey" has gotten over 150,000 signatures as of this writing.

Police officers say they get unfairly vilified when dogs are injured or killed.

British Columbia Emergency Photography / Via

Tom Stamatakis, the president of the Canadian Police Association, says cops generally follow the National Use of Force Model for encounters with aggressive pets.

"Their response is really determined by what they see or what they perceive as a threat," Stamatakis told BuzzFeed Canada. "Typically the guidance is to use the least amount of force that you can in order to be effective, but the amount of force that will be effective."

As for whether to put an injured animal down, departments will have their own guidelines. In most urban areas police officers would call animal control, Stamtakis said, but in rural areas that may not always be possible.

"Some of the things that would be considered are how seriously the animal is injured, are there other resources available to deal with the animal, or is it so grievously injured that it has to be euthanized?"

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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