Appeals court sides with police in shooting of dog

An East Palo Alto police officer wounded but didn't kill King, who bared his teeth at the officer who came into his backyard in East Palo Alto. Photo provided by King's owner, Erica Prado.
An East Palo Alto police officer wounded but didn't kill King, who bared his teeth at the officer who came into his backyard in East Palo Alto. Photo provided by King's owner, Erica Prado.

Daily Post Staff Writer

An appeals court has thrown out an East Palo Alto woman’s lawsuit against police who shot her 85-pound pit bull while chasing a suspect.

On March 31, 2015, East Palo Alto officer Clay Warford was chasing a Norteno member through a residential neighborhood when he hopped the fence into the backyard of Erica Prado. That’s when he was confronted by Prado’s dog named King.

According to Warford, King was baring his teeth and seemed ready to attack. So he shot King in the leg to keep the dog from attacking him, allowing him to keep looking for the suspect, according to the court ruling that was issued Wednesday.

Warford ultimately was able to arrest the suspect, and then went to apologize to King’s owners, according to the ruling. King’s owners were unhappy and swore at Warford, so he left, the ruling said. Police ended up taking King to the animal hospital after the incident.

King nearly died from a loss of blood, according to the original lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.

King’s health is declining

King now suffers from bone spurs, he limps and needs to take joint supplements now as a result of the shooting, Prado said yesterday. King’s health is progressively getting worse, despite being 7 years old.

Prado, in her civil suit against police, made several claims including that Warford’s entry into her yard was an illegal search. The state appeals court sided with police and pointed out that there are previous Supreme Court rulings that allow for police officers to look in people’s backyards for someone who is a suspect in a foot chase.

It would have been different, if Warford had entered Prado’s home during the chase, the appeals court said.


        • I a dog owner and a dog trainer. While I understand protecting his home….what if a cop went through your backyard chasing a child molester

          I would rather loose my dog than a criminal who is dangerous go loose.

          Sure, it will hurt….bit.
 least the criminal cant harm anyone else

  1. As well they should have. It’s a dog OWNERS responsibility to control and contain the animal they chose to get. Sorry another low level pit owner failed their dog, not sorry.

    • how stupid are you? the dog was contained within a fenced in back yard. how much more control do you think the owners should have to be?

  2. Their lifespan isnt that long and how does anyone know that the health problems werent preexisting? Those people are LUCKY he wasnt killed, the officer could have justified that and the officer never should have apologized. Glad they threw out the trash dog owners lawsuit

    • “The officer never should have apologized”? Are you kidding? A cop enters someone’s yard and shoots their dog and you think the cop had no reason to apologize? Oh, wait, I see: you explain that by calling them “trash dog owners”. Trash would be the kind of ‘person’ who fails to understand basic human decency along with the rights of the dog owners

  3. The cop actually was pretty nice about it, comparatively speaking. I understand the family’s anger, and as a pit bull owner, I sympathize. But the cop apologized and they took the dog to the vet. Why didn’t the owners rush him to the vet? Who paid the vet bill? Has a vet actually said the current health issues are a result of the shooting? And, the law about cops trespassing is garbage.

Comments are closed.