Owner upset after Yuba deputies kill dog
Yuba County sheriff's deputies responding to the latest in a rash of break-ins at an Olivehurst towing yard on Sunday shot and killed the owner's dog.
Ruben Clement, owner of C&F Towing, said he was upset and perplexed by the action and the loss of his dog, which he said "was totally unreasonable."
Sheriff Steve Durfor said the appropriateness of the shooting "has yet to be determined."
Emily, a Queensland heeler — bred for herding cattle — had escaped the property at Lindhurst and Olivehurst avenues, presumably during the break-in, Clement said.
The dog returned just as deputies arrived late in the afternoon to document damage to Clement's fence and any stolen property.
"They said she was lunging at them, but she's never bit anyone," Clement said of the 4-year-old dog. "She's as gentle as can be."
The towing and salvage yard backs up to a Caltrans right-of-way, and burglars have used the adjoining property to get to a section of fence that has been repeatedly cut for entry.
In the last three months, burglaries have occurred on the property about a dozen times, Clement said.
Once inside his yard, burglars have stolen old cars and car parts, and even siphoned gasoline.
On Monday, Clement's lost property was an afterthought.
"She'd been part of the family," he said of the dog, adding that if she was vicious, burglars would have likely stopped breaking into his property by now.
Clement said law enforcement was called so a report could be taken by telephone; he did not expect them to respond in person.
"If they were concerned (about safety), they should have stayed in their car and called my driver," he said.
Durfor said Monday that he had spoken with Clement and offered condolences for the loss of his dog. "But I'm not passing judgment" he said of his deputies' actions.
"If we do find that it was not a reasonable use of force, we will take it seriously," he said.
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