The Barboza family was shocked and stunned when earlier this week Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Gutierrez showed up at their door demanding their dog, Bobby.
Mr. Barboza, Bobby’s owner, said, “He says, ‘I’m here to put him down. I’m here to kill him.'”
Gutierrez claimed that there was a bite complaint but refused to offer any proof when asked by Mr. Barboza.
“I said, ‘Do you have any proof or anything?'” reported Mr. Barboza, ” He says, ‘I don’t need any proof.'”
No doubt fearing repercussions, Mr. Barboza got his dog, Bobby while Deputy Gutierrez got his shotgun. Bobby was then led to a pole, tied up and Gutierrez them proceeded to shoot him three times just feet from where Ms. Barboza and the Barboza’s three year old son waited in the house.
“A bunch of kids just got off the bus and they were all on the street. All the kids were watching the officer shooting the dog. My heart was broken seeing an officer killing my dog,” said Barboza adding that the deputy then just got in his car and drove off, leaving the dog bleeding from head wounds, almost dead.
Barboza then went into his house with his wife and son, “We were hugging each other crying about our dog because we were gonna miss him. He’s been with us for five years.”
Barboza’s father who witnessed the incident actually had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. Amazingly when the Barboza’s returned home a couple of days later, the dog, Bobby, was alive.
The Teton County Idaho Sheriff wouldn’t say much about this case except that it’s still under investigation. He also said there’s been numerous complaints about the Barboza’s dog. But when I checked court records, I could only find one complaint filed last year and that was dismissed.
Nate Eaton, Channel 3 Eyewitness News: “Did your dog ever bite anybody?”
Barboza: “Not to my knowledge. No.”
Eaton: “And this was the first time you’d ever heard of any complaint?”
Barboza: “Yes, this is the first time. I still think about it. You know my kid thinks all the cops are bad because an officer came and shot his dog. Honestly when I think about it I get mad too and I don’t trust that officer any more.”
The Barboza’s took Bobby to the vet. He’s now on medication to get the wounds taken care of. The holes in his head will be sewn up after Thanksgiving.
The family has hired attorney Josh Garner. I spoke with him this evening and he says, “If the facts are as they appear, the deputies behavior is disgusting, troublesome, and appalling. The officer needs to be held responsible.”
Deputy Gutierrez has since been suspended the Tri-county Sheriff’s organization is now investigating the shooting incident but the story doesn’t even begin to end here.
This from KIDK
After our story aired, Justin Frandsen emailed me. He said he was arrested the night before the dog was shot and was in the Teton County Sheriff’s Office when he heard officers talking about the dog.
Justin Frandsen, Resident: “They were joking and laughing about what weapons they wanted to shoot him with and how they were gonna shoot him. At the end of the conversation they were almost feuding over who got to shoot the dog.”
Fransden was shocked by what he heard and says he felt obligated to say something.
Frandsen: “You guys must feel like you’re real big cops, real tough guys, to have to go out and basically assassinate somebody’s house pet.”
After Teton County resident Nancy Nead saw our story, she emailed me and believes facts are probably being left out of the story.
Nancy Nead: “I would bet that the deputy was either protecting himself because I have hard time believe that the deputy would just come and shoot the dog without a reason.”
Bobby’s owners, the Barboza family, plans to take legal action against the Teton County Sheriff’s Office after they say Deputy Joseph Gutierrez shot their dog three times and left him for dead.
Josh Garner, Barboza’s Attorney said, “We intend on putting the county on notice that we are serious about this and that we intend on taking some action.”
Dr. Joseph Rosenthal, Idaho Humane Society spoke out regarding the shooting saying, “This is an act of cruelty and to find out that later the dog was discovered to still be alive and suffering it’s just an example.”
Who knows what more there may be to this story but it doesn’t seem that the sheriff’s office is doing much talking and for them to suspend the deputy certainly makes the point that there is something not right here.
There have been too many stories in the news lately about law officers shooting dogs and not all of them justified. I’ve always had great respect for the law and the officers who at times put their lives on the line but are we seeing too many under and poorly trained, trigger happy officers anymore?
I’ll keep my eyes on this and follow up and if you find anything out, please feel free to pass it along. What do you think about this whole thing?