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‘I Felt Her Take Her Last Breath’: Dog Dies in Owner’s Arms After Police Open Fire

October 22, 2013

An Idaho family is contesting the reason why a Boise police officer felt it necessary to shoot their dog, leaving a litter of six puppies motherless.

The lab-pit bull mix “Kita,” owned by Gabrielle Stropkai, was shot dead by an officer investigating a theft Sunday, KTVB-TV reported.

Police said they felt threatened by the 5-year-old dog. Officers and some witnesses said Kita barked, lunged and snarled.


According to the police report, the dog was on the loose Sunday when officers were in the area. Feeling that the dog could be dangerous, one officer shot Kita when she was less than three feet from them.

“Officers never want to harm an animal. The dog came upon the officers quickly and they felt it was about to bite them. This is a very dog-friendly community. Many officers have dogs. We work with dogs. Dogs running loose are a safety risk, for people and for the dogs. This was a very unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” Deputy Chief Pete Ritter said in a statement.

stropkai's dog shot

But Stropkai, who witnessed the event with her 2-year-old son, told a different story as to what happened.

“She avoided them,” Stropkai told KBOI-TV. “She walked around them. She never stopped. She never ran towards them.”

After the dog was shot, Stropkai ran to the animal and tried to stop the bleeding.

“I felt her take her last breath, and she was dead,” the owner told the Idaho Statesman.

Stropkai also pointed out to the newspaper that Kita was shot in the back of the head. To Stropkai, if the dog had been running at officers when the shot was fired, she would have been hit in the face or chest.

Now, Stropkai and her friends are caring for the dog’s six 2-week-old puppies, bottle-feeding them several times a day.

“I had no choice whatsoever, and she was she was taken from me. And now, I have to fill her shoes which I am coming to find she had very big shoes, and I don’t know if I am filling them very well,” Stropkai told KTVB-TV.

kita's puppies

Police spokesman Chuck McClure said a review of the incident took place, and it appears officers were within their rights and followed policy appropriately, according to KTVB.

 If anyone is interested in helping, they can email Gabrielle Stropkai at

Credit To: Liz Kilmas / The Blaze

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