Erie, Colorado Police and Pet Owner Reach Settlement in Dog Shooting

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Colorado-based The Animal Law Center says after four years of litigation agreement is reached.

This case has never been about the money.

Lawyers with The Animal Law Center announce a settlement has been reached in a dog shooting case, stemming from a 2011 shooting incident in Erie, Colo. Case # CV-02491-CMA-MJW was resolved in the United States District Court for the State of Colorado earlier this month. The plaintiff and dog owner Brittany Moore accepted a financial settlement, while the Erie Police Department has implemented new, non-lethal training and equipment for dog encounters during police activities.

“This case has never been about the money,” says Moore, owner of Ava, a German Shepherd shot and killed by an Erie police officer on May 10, 2011 in her neighbor’s driveway. “I have spent the last four years working to make positive changes in police procedures that work to everyone’s benefit.”

Since the shooting, Moore has been an advocate and the public face for change in how police officers interact with dogs. She was a visible spokesperson for the Dog Protection Act, which in 2013 became law in Colorado. The legislation requires law enforcement officials across the state to undergo dog encounter training. Moore has also been featured on national television and in documentaries, raising awareness on the issue of police shooting dogs.

“Brittany has been steadfast in her determination to protect the public and their animals since she lost Ava,” said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of The Animal Law Center based in Englewood, Colo. “Because of Brittany’s efforts, the Erie Police Department has adopted new, nonlethal procedures for handling canines while conducting police business.”

Case Background

On May 10, 2011, Moore called 911 requesting police protection due to a threatening phone call she received. Erie police office Jamie Chester responded to the 911 call. Moore saw Officer Chester in the street and went outside to direct him to her home. As he approached, Moore's two dogs Ivy and Ava began walking towards the officer. According to witness statements, when Officer Chester saw the dogs coming toward him, he began to walk backwards around a parked car. That’s when witnesses say Officer Chester drew his gun and fired at Ava, mortally wounding her.

About The Animal Law Center: The Animal Law Center provides an array of legal services for animal owners and guardians. We are the only dedicated animal law practice in Colorado and are one of the few firms in the United States that practice animal-related law on a full time basis. Because there is very little pro-animal legal precedent in existence, each case handled by the ALC offers an opportunity to change the legal future for animals across the United States. In practicing animal law, the ALC specializes in using innovative tools we have developed to represent animal-related issues in judicial, legislative and transactional forums. For more information:

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Jennifer Edwards

Kurt Holzberlein
Animal Justice Center
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