A couple whose dog was shot by Topeka police will be able to take him home pending trial on dangerous dog charges.
Paula and Rick Rodecap’s 3-year-old pit bull, Jackson Smore, was shot June 20 after police said he charged them in an alley behind a residence at 1532 S.W. Central Park. The Rodecaps say the dog was shot in his hindquarters, indicating he was moving away from the officers.
The dog had been held by Helping Hands Humane Society pending the resolution of the case. Topeka Municipal Court Associate Judge Lloyd Swartz granted the Rodecaps’ petition for early release Tuesday morning because they fulfilled conditions he had set, including obtaining a leash and muzzle and setting up an enclosure for when the dog is outdoors.
A hearing to determine whether the Rodecaps violated the dangerous dog ordinance and allowed a dog to run at large is set for Oct. 14. Judges have discretion about whether to destroy a dog or impose other conditions in the first offense. If a defendant is found guilty, the fine is between $250 and $499, plus a $139 court fee.
Paula Rodecap said the dog is a registered companion animal for Rick Rodecap, and they plan to enlist the help of a trainer who can discuss animal behavior before the court.
“There’s just no purpose in them labeling my dog a dangerous dog,” she said.
The incident was reported at about 1:30 a.m. June 20, when police were responding to a call in the area. Police Lt. Chuck Haggard said a dog “charged” toward one of the officers from the backyard of a residence, and the officer responded by shooting the dog.
Rodecap said she was inside her home watching television, when she heard gunfire behind her house. She said her backyard doesn’t have a fence, and the dog wasn’t on a cable because it was outside for only a few minutes to go to the bathroom.