Erie family suing police over dog shooting

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ERIE, Colo. -- The family of a dog shot by a police officer in May is filling a lawsuit against the town of Erie and the officer who shot their dog.

The family of Brittany Moore is being represented by attorneys with the Animal Law Center and claiming that the Boulder District Attorney ignored reports from two eyewitnesses and failed to contact a third, all of whom will reportedly claim that Ava, a 4-year-old German shepard, "never acted aggressively" before being mortally wounded by a shot from the gun of Erie police officer Jamie Chester.

Chester was cleared of any wrongdoing. The suit is seeking damages for violations of civil rights, emotional harm and willful and wanton conduct.

"We have three witnesses who saw what happened, "Jennifer Edwards, lawyer and founder of the Animal Law Center, said. "Our third witness' first thought was that Ava belonged to the officer as part of a K9 unit."

Chester was responding to a call that Moore's boyfriend's ex-wife was making harassing phone calls and threatening to come to the house when the altercation with the dog began.

When Chester walked toward Moore's house, the dog began walking toward Chester and, according to a police report, was "baring its teeth." The police report continued to state that the dog lunged at Chester before he opened fire.

Moore claimed that she called to her dog, and that the animal was no longer facing Chester when he fired. Moore's attorneys said three eyewitnesses will back up those claims.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported that Chester killed another dog -- a black Labrador retriever -- that attacked and seriously injured a boy in 2007.