The owners of a dog shot by Topeka police officers this past week will have their day in court Tuesday.
Jackson Smore, a 3-year-old pit bull, was shot at 1:30 a.m. Friday in an alley behind a residence at 1532 S.W. Central Park as two police officers were responding to a call.
Jackson’s owner, Paula Rodecap, said the pit bull is a registered companion dog to her husband, Rick Rodecap, 56, who is disabled, and his personal care attendant had let the dog out the back door to relieve itself around 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Police cited Rodecap in connection with dog at large and dangerous dog violations, and Jackson was taken for treatment to a Topeka veterinarian that handles cases for the city. The dog is “expected to recover,” said Luther Ganieany Jr., chief of prosecution for Topeka. The dog is still at the veterinarian’s clinic.
Ganieany said the Rodecaps on Monday requested an early release hearing, which will take place at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Topeka Municipal Court. It is typical for dog owners who have been cited for dangerous dog violations to request an early release hearing, Ganieany said.
“They have those hearings every week,” he said. “If there is never a request made by the defendant, the judge will address the impound at the arraignment.”
In dangerous dog cases, the dog usually will remain impounded until the case is concluded. However, a defendant can ask for an early release hearing, and a judge will determine if the dog should be released early from impound.
Topeka’s animal control unit is dispatched to dangerous dog calls. Animal control then will take the dog for impoundment at the Helping Hands Humane Society or the owner can choose to have it impounded at a veterinarian of their own choosing, Ganieany said. The humane society generally charges $10.10 per day for impounding a dog for the city.
After an animal is impounded, there is a citation filed in municipal court and the case is scheduled for an arraignment, which usually takes place in four to six weeks.
The Rodecaps have proof — a letter from Rick Rodecap’s primary care physician — that the pit bull is a registered companion dog, Paula Rodecap said Monday. She also said she will present letters of support from family members, friends, churchgoers and neighbors stating Jackson Smore isn’t a violent animal.
“It proves this dog is a good dog,” Paula Rodecap said.