Prized puppy shot by cop released from clinic, family to sue - FOX 32 News Chicago

FIRST ON FOX: Prized puppy shot by cop released from clinic, family to sue

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FIRST ON FOX: 7-month old Colonel Phillips is now enjoying some fresh air after three days at the Chicago Veterinary Emergency Clinic, recovering from two gunshot wounds.

A 19th District officer was writing a parking ticket Saturday afternoon when he shot the puppy. The dog had followed its owner out of a gated North Side yard.

SEE: North Side family says prized puppy was unjustly shot by cop: EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

An eyewitness says the officer did not appear to be threatened.

"I'm one hundred percent certain [the dog did not lunge at the officer]," eyewitness Todd MaClay says. "That dog wasn't concerned with anybody. He was sniffing at the ground and wagging his tail."

The bull terrier puppy needed five hours of surgery for wounds to its abdomen and legs. Its owners, Al and Barbara Phillips, filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming they were injured too and suffering emotional distress, due to the officer's use of excessive force.

"The main goal of the Phillips family is to make sure that this doesn't happen again," explains Michael Lamonica, the family's attorney. "It's obviously unacceptable. for police officers to be shooting animals, especially animals that aren't doing anything to deserve it."

The lawsuit also claims the Phillips' were victims of retaliation from police, who wrote then a ticket for having an unrestrained dog after the police saw them talking to us.

"Just last night, a sergeant and a lieutenant came to the Philips household wondering why they were willing to speak to the media, and kind of wanted this to be buried, and we don't think that's an appropriate response," says Lamonica.

As for Colonel Phillip, aside from hating that new protective collar, "He's excited to go home," says Morgan Phillips. "He's such a loving dog. You can see that, you hold him like a baby, I mean, he is a baby."

Chicago police won't discuss the shooting, while an independent panel investigates. A spokesman for the law department told FOX 32 News, "we will review the case and determine the right course of action to take, on behalf of Chicago taxpayers."

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