An investigation has been launched into the killing of an ‘adorable’ husky named Enzo who was tased to its death by police in California.
Disturbing video shows the officers tasing and then dragging two-year-old Enzo as horrified bystanders argued with cops, who claimed the dog had attacked children after escaping from his home in Lodi, 35 miles south of Sacramento, on January 24.
But Enzo’s owner Aline Galeno tells DailyMail.com, ‘They killed our dog and now have the audacity to say it was because he was attacking children.
‘This couldn’t be further from the truth,’ added Galeno, 21, who has now hired an animal rights attorney. ‘Everyone who knows Enzo knows that he’s one of the sweetest dogs ever. He’s just a big goofball and would never hurt anyone.’
After video of the deadly encounter went viral, outraged viewers flooded the Lodi Police Department with up to 200 phone calls daily seeking justice for the beloved dog.
The officers involved are Chris Delgado and Timothy Ivey with the Traffic Division and Animal Control Officer Jordan Kranich with Lodi Animal Services.
Lodi Chief of Police Sierra Brucia told DailyMail.com that the department was taking the matter seriously and that an internal investigation began immediately after the incident.
‘A formal complaint against the employees involved has been accepted and is currently under investigation as well. Any policy violations or criminal charges found will be handled appropriately and within our policies and the law,’ Brucia said.
Seth Wattenberger, 19, told DailyMail.com how he and his girlfriend had just stepped outside when they saw the dog and called it over.
‘We stretched out our hands to pet him and that’s when we saw police driving up with animal control.
‘The thing that bugs me the most is that the police officers saw us petting the dog and we were really close to the dog too,’ said Wattenberger, who recorded the incident on his cellphone.
‘The cop had his hand on his taser even before he fully got off of his motorcycle.’
‘We were still petting the dog on his face and his nose when they told us to back away from the area. The dog had been on the driveway, but then walked over to the street and just stood there.
‘The cop with the taser then looked over at the animal control guy who was just at his truck doing nothing, and said, ”tase him?” and he said yeah, and then the cop just tased the dog even though he wasn’t being aggressive or barking or anything.
‘While he was tasing the dog the first time, the Animal Control officer got the stick around the dog’s neck and then that’s when the dog jolted a little bit and then the cop tased him again and was just like tasing him at the same time the animal control guy was dragging the dog to the van.’
Seth’s girlfriend Presley Quenzer can be heard on the video frantically saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God! What are you doing?’
Seth said that officer Delgado – in an effort to defend his actions – approached him and said the dog had attacked kids around the corner.
‘There are so many different ways to catch a dog instead of just using a taser,’ Wattenberger said. ‘Tranquilizers, darts, even pepper spray. There’s no way you can kill someone with pepper spray.
‘Now looking back, I really wish I would have just gotten in the way of the officer and the dog. I wasn’t sure what to do, but what I know is when the dog first came up to me, it sniffed my hand, let me pet him and was wagging his tail. He just seemed like a friendly lost dog.’
‘I want better training,’ Wattenberger added. ‘They just didn’t have the proper training. They shouldn’t have used a taser.’
While Police Chief Brucia said additional training with how to deal with large animals was underway, DailyMail.com has learned that a lack of training was in fact not the issue.
As it turns out, the officer who tased Enzo, Officer Ivey, had been a K-9 handler for nine years prior to joining the Lodi Police Department in 2016, which would make him experienced with dogs.
Meanwhile, multiple sources have told DailyMail.com that Animal Control Officer Jordan Kranich, who was seen in the video dragging Enzo, is a dog breeder who sells puppies.
Two photos from Kranich’s Facebook page dated January 3, that have since been deleted, show five puppies with the description, ‘6 left, 4 males, 2 females both parents on site. Two sets of shots dewclaws removed and dewormed. AKC hunting line and some field trail. Great family pets.’
According to PetMD, ‘Dewclaws serve an important purpose and should not be removed unless there’s a very good reason to do so.’ Breeders often remove dewclaws – the claw higher up the dog’s front leg that is approximately equivalent to a human thumb – to improve their appearance in the show ring.
Kranich’s wife Trisha is the President of the Lodi Animal Services Foundation, a non-profit benefiting Lodi Animal Services with its motto ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop.’
Lodi resident Greg Huggins told DailyMail.com that it was the wife of Officer Delgado who called the cops claiming Enzo had bitten her daughter.
‘I had been with the dog for about 40 minutes. I could tell he was lost and called Animal Control to come get him because I didn’t want him to get hit by a car. I gave him some water which he drank. He was thirsty.
‘At no time was the dog aggressive. He was big and fluffy, but I didn’t pet him because I didn’t want him to run away. He stood about three feet from me just looking at me and wagging his tail.
‘He then heard some dogs barking and crossed the street, so I followed him when all of a sudden this lady comes out of her house and says, ”Put a leash on your dog” in a very rude tone. I told her he wasn’t mine, but that I had called animal control, meanwhile her two dogs were still barking from their yard.’
‘Just a few minutes later after the dog and I were back in front of my house, animal control showed up with two police on their motorcycles. One of the officers was that same woman’s husband, Officer Delgado. She came back outside and said the dog was aggressive and had tried to nip at their young daughter’s feet.
‘I can assure you this never happened. She kept saying that’s the dog, the aggressive dog.
‘I told the animal control officer three times that the dog was not aggressive, but he wouldn’t listen to me,’ added Huggins. ‘He basically ignored me and then attempted to capture the dog with a pole but missed.’
Huggins explained that two weeks prior, another husky on the same street had bitten someone in the neighborhood and as a result was taken to animal control for a couple of days and then returned home.
‘It wasn’t a serious bite, but I think the police and animal control assumed it was the same dog from before. I told them that it wasn’t the same dog, but again they wouldn’t listen to what I had to say.’
‘Instead of calling 911 like we all do, that lady across the street just called her husband instead.’
Galeno, Enzo’s owner, told DailyMail.com that she has received hundreds of messages from people all over the world offering condolences and words of support.
‘It’s surprising that people I don’t even know want to support us. I have gotten messages from Uganda, Italy, Japan, Canada and all over the States. We want justice for Enzo and now we have so many people writing us with the hashtag #JusticeForEnzo. I think people are just in disbelief that this happened to a family pet by the very people who are suppose to help us and protect us,’ Aline said.
‘The video footage says it all. It’s absolutely shocking that anyone, let alone police would do this to our dog. We are heartbroken. Words can’t express the agony, anger and disbelief we are all feeling,’ added Galeno, who set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for legal fees.
Despite the disturbing footage and multiple accounts given by eyewitnesses, the officers involved paint a much different picture, which Galeno and her mother Anna Marquez say is a ‘flat out lie’.
After the incident, Lodi Police released a statement claiming they had received a report of a loose husky that had chased a family, with young children, into their residence and was trying to bite them. The dog then began to try to get through the resident’s side gate to attack their dog, the police claim.
‘When our Animal Services Officer arrived in the area, they saw a citizen using a piece of wood to block himself and his pet dog, from the vicious dog. At this time the aggressive dog approached a group of individuals that were standing out front of their residence and the officer deployed his taser, which is a less lethal device, to stun and incapacitate the dog, in order to give our Animal Services officer the opportunity to safely secure the dog.
‘Unfortunately, during the incident the dog passed away. Lodi PD and Animal Services have been in contact with the dog’s owners.’
Galeno called the statement ‘flat out lies!’
Lodi Mayor Mikey Hothi told DailyMail.com that he hopes the DA will render a decision as soon as possible and asked the public to stop contacting the officers and making threats.
On Saturday, Galeno along with her family and dozens of supporters took to the streets demanding justice for Enzo.
They marched from the Lodi Train Station to City Hall and ultimately the police station where both Aline and her mom spoke.
‘If this could happen to an innocent dog, it could happen to a person, and it could happen to a child,’ Anna Marques told the crowd.
People Advocating for Animal Welfare (PAAW), sponsored the march and called for the officers involved to be charged with a felony for animal cruelty.
Watch the video: