Burberry, a 6-year-old Pit Bull, worked with children with Down syndrome as well as with his dog dad, Ian Anderson of Pacific Beach, Calif., to help them through rough times.
The therapy dog was always there “to put [his head] on your lap and you know everything is going to be okay. There’s just no way to explain the bond,” Anderson told NBC 7.
But Burberry is no longer around to work his magic. When two police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call knocked on Anderson’s door — apparently the wrong address — early Sunday morning, Burberry began barking. Anderson told NBC 7 he let Burberry outside, where he stopped barking.
In a surveillance video, one of the officers can even be seen patting Burberry’s head.
“The other officer yelled and screamed at the dog for no reason to get inside,” Anderson said. “It startled the dog.”
In the video, Burberry can be seen running and jumping at the other officer, who was running backwards. The officer shot Burberry in the head, instantly killing him.
“The preservation of life is our top priority and this includes the lives of animals,” the San Diego Police Department said in a statement. “This incident is currently being investigated as any Officer Involved Shooting would be to assure proper procedures were followed. Any further comments prior to the completion of the investigation would simply be premature.”
NBC 7 reporter Omari Fleming said he talked to several people in the neighborhood who knew Burberry. All of them said he was “such a cool dog.”
“I have known this dog since it was little … This dog would never hurt a fly!!!!” wrote Nicole Jacobs in a comment on the NBC 7 story. “My heart is broken. Burberry was amazing!”