The Enriquez family of Bahia Puesto del Sol Street in Caye Caulker are demanding that the policeman who shot their six month-old German Shepherd puppy in the wee hours of Monday morning re-imburse them for their medically-related expenses.
They are also demanding that the Police Department remove the policeman from the island.
The owner of the puppy “Champion”, said his dog was shot just before 3 a.m. on Monday when a golf cart with three policemen on patrol passed their house.
The dog owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the puppy had somehow broken loose from its chain and had wandered into the street.
The owner said he heard when the golf cart drove by and the puppy barked twice. He also heard when the handgun discharged. When he looked outside, he saw a policeman dressed in a white T-shirt and holding a handgun. The policeman got back into the golf cart.
The owner of the puppy said his father followed the golf cart until it stopped at the Tourism Police Headquarters where the policeman in the white T-shirt got off.
The father asked the policeman why he shot the puppy that posed no threat to him or the golf cart .He replied that the puppy had “charged at” him.
The shooting and the policeman’s apparent lack of remorse sent Caye Caulker residents to protest on the social media and they threatened to lead a physical protest in front of the Caye Caulker Police Station.
The San Pedro Police Formation got involved and sent an officer to investigate,and to check on the service weapons assigned to the Caye Caulker Police patrols. The Deputy Commanding Officer of San Pedro Town, Inspector Henry Jemmott, told The Reporter that policemen who take service handguns on patrol must sign the weapons out, so they will know who the culprit is. They have already questioned the men who were on duty at the time and they have denied any knowledge of the shooting.
A member of the family has also travelled to Belize City to report the shooting incident to the Police Internal Affairs Unit. The matter is now under formal investigation.
The injured dog, Champion was brought to Belize City the same day and underwent emergency surgery to remove a ruptured right eyeball.The vets who attended to the dog say he has a 50-50 chance of survival.