Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Sean Kendall, whose dog Geist was shot and killed by a Police officer on June 18, 2014, addresses reporters outside police headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake man wants police officer who killed his dog fired

First Published Jun 23 2014 06:43 pm • Last Updated Jun 26 2014 11:55 am

A Salt Lake City man whose dog was killed by a police officer in its own backyard last Wednesday said he would not be satisfied unless the officer was fired from the force.

Sean Kendall, 27, met with high-ranking Salt Lake City police officials on Monday to discuss the fatal shooting of his 2-year-old Weimaraner, Geist. The dog was shot in the head by a police officer during a door-to-door search for a 3-year-old boy whose parents had reported him missing from their house near 2500 South and Fillmore Street.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The boy was eventually found asleep in his own basement.

Though the meeting was "productive," said Kendall, he remained "extremely frustrated and upset" at the apparent reluctance of the police to take action against the officer who shot his dog.

"The only thing that I would be satisfied with is having this officer terminated," said Kendall. "I feel that his judgment was completely inappropriate."

The officer remains on duty while the department conducts an internal investigation.

Kendall has not said whether he will pursue legal action against the department, but he believes his rights were violated when the officer entered his property and shot his dog. Kendall’s attorney, Brett Boulton, said he believes his client should be compensated, though he did not have a dollar amount in mind.

"That’s what we do in the legal system," said Boulton. "We pay people money when bad things happen."

But Sgt. Greg Wilking said the officer did not break the law when he entered Kendall’s backyard.

"There are extenuating circumstances," said Wilking. "A child is missing, and if you’re a parent, you would want us to look everywhere for your child. We wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned."

story continues below
story continues below

Wilking declined to comment on whether the officer acted properly when he chose to use lethal force against the dog.

"I wasn’t in that situation. The officer did what he did in the moment to avoid being bitten, possibly," said Wilking.

In addition to asking for the officer’s termination, Kendall wants the Salt Lake City police to train its officers to handle dogs "so that this situation doesn’t happen again."

Wilking acknowledged that officers are not specifically trained to deal with aggressive dogs.

"Maybe that’s something that we’re going to be looking at and addressing," he said.

Kendall also wants the Legislature to pass a law recognizing pets as family members rather than as property.

The idea that his dog was "just a piece of property, no different than a vehicle, a piece of lawn furniture, doesn’t sit well with me," said Kendall.

"I’m devastated, to be honest," he added. "Geist was a member of my family. At times he was the only thing, the only person, the only comfort that I had."


Twitter: @Harry_Stevens

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.