Police say a teenager ordered his dog to attack officers during a confrontation Monday night, forcing one of the officers to shoot.
The teen's family claims police shot the "gentle" dog an excessive amount of times.
Photos from the scene show Ruffhouser, a Rottweiler-Boxer, being taken from the Denver home by police on a makeshift stretcher. The dog was taken to an animal clinic, where it later died from its wounds.
According to sister station KCNC, Ruffhouser was shot after an attempt to arrest a 16-year-old for an alleged missed court date escalated into a fight between the teen and police officers. During the fight, the teen reportedly ordered the dog to attack police.
The teen's sister claimed that police shot the dog five times. She told KCNC that at the time of the shooting, Ruffhouser was just trying to protect the family.
"He's really protective, there's two babies in there under the age of 2 years old, like of course," Toni Vigil said.
The death of the dog isn't the only thing the family is upset about.
“I was scared because there were two little kids in there, so why wouldn't I be scared? I have my godson in there. My nephew is not even 2 years old and someone’s going in my mom’s house shooting and then they’re shooting the dog. Why is it okay to shoot the dog five times? That’s not okay,” Vigil told KCNC.
The suspect was able to escape arrest. At last report, he remained on the loose.
None of the officers were seriously hurt.