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Anne Arundel Officer on Paid Leave After Killing Family's Pet

The Anne Arundel County Police Chief vows to "get to the bottom" of an encounter last weekend. An officer shot and killed a family's dog in their yard.

Authorities are investigating an Anne Arundel County Police officer's actions after he shot and killed a family's dog. File|Patch
Authorities are investigating an Anne Arundel County Police officer's actions after he shot and killed a family's dog. File|Patch

The Anne Arundel County police officer who shot and killed a family’s dog this weekend has been placed on paid leave while an internal affairs probe reviews the case.

Vern, a Chesapeake Bay retriever shot and killed Saturday, reportedly confronted Officer Rodney Price as he searched for a burglary suspect in the neighborhood. On Monday, Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis spoke at a press conference about the incident, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Davis said he expects the necropsy of the family pet, to be conducted at Virginia Tech, and the department’s investigation will help "get to the bottom" of the incident.

Price was investigating a burglary in the 900 block of Lombardee Circle in Pasadena at about 4:12 pm. Feb. 1, Patch earlier reported. Price went to the home at 905 Lombardee Circle. The dog, Vern, confronted the officer in the front area of the outside of the home, leading Price to shoot twice, killing the dog.

The department earlier said it recognizes the sensitivity involved in the situation and understands that this is traumatic incident for Price and for Vern’s family.

"My deepest condolences go out to the family of Vern during this extremely difficult time," Davis said earlier. "I personally met with the family at their residence to let them know that our department will be conducting an internal investigation into the incident to ensure that all of the pertinent facts are known, and to advance discussions regarding best practices for law enforcement when encountering animals."

Price is a patrol officer with one year of experience who is assigned to the Northern District, the Sun says. Police said he should be formally interviewed in the coming days as part of the investigation.

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