Monday, February 16, 2015

Petition For Sammy~ Save Sammy

15 February 2015

Dog of Police Shooting Victim Faces Death for a Second Time

On 6 January 2015 Autumn Steele of Burlington, Iowa was tragically shot and killed by Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill. From initial accounts the family dog apparently startled Officer Hill, who fired his weapon twice, grazing the dog and hitting Autumn in the chest, resulting in her death. The investigation of this incident is complete and is currently sitting on the desk of Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers. Ms. Beavers is expected to make a final determination on the investigation's findings within three weeks.

On 15 January 2015 a complaint was filed with the Burlington Police Department alleging that the family dog, Sammy, is a concern to the safety of Burlington residents. This complaint centers on the perceived dog's actions during the time of the fatal shooting. An investigation of the complaint was conducted and referred to the Burlington, Iowa Animal Hearing Board for final adjudication. This public hearing is scheduled for 25 February 2015 at 6:30 PM, Burlington Iowa City Hall, 400 Washington St, Burlington, Iowa.

The Hearing Board will decide on two matters: Whether Sammy was provoked by the situation to defend his owners, and whether Sammy is determined to be a safety concern and should, therefore, be euthanized. If the board determines that Sammy is of a safety concern, and determines that Sammy should be euthanized, there is an alternative that needs to be considered.

Ms. Gina Waters-Colbert of Columbus, Georgia, and Autumn's mother, has agreed to accept ownership of Sammy. Ms. Waters-Colbert has five acres of open and penned property in Columbus, a number of animals, and a very animal friendly environment. She is a very successful businesswoman who has received recognition and awards for her community service and business acumen. Placing Sammy in Gina's ownership will commence the healing process for a family devastated by their loss and for a community ready to move forward. This alternative is a win-win solution for all parties concerned.

The below link to the petition site addresses Ms. Gina Waters-Colbert taking ownership of Sammy and moving Sammy to Columbus, Georgia if the Board determines that Sammy will be euthanized. Signatures collected on this petition will be sent to the Animal Hearing Board for their consideration.

Additional details about the shooting to include video of local news eyewitness report can be found at the following websites below. Within these reports are links to other videos and news articles.

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