HOUSTON - A Houston man wants answers after police shot his two dogs during a robbery investigation.
"Those dogs were my life," said Carnelius Allen, who owned the Akita puppies, aged 6 months and 14 months.
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Houston police confirmed to KPRC2 an officer shot both dogs on June 20, while officers responded to a robbery at Allen's house, located on the 1600 block of New Urban Way, on Houston's south side.
Police said both dogs charged at an officer, who was investigating in the backyard.
Allen said he was not home at the time of the break-in. Houston police called him, he said, and told him they had been dispatched to his home because of a burglary.
"(The officer) asked me was it OK for them to secure the area. So, I said, 'Yes, it's fine, but please be aware there are two dogs in the backyard.' So, he said, 'OK. I'll let the team know,'" Allen said.
When Allen returned home, with his 5-year-old son, he said police made no mention of the shooting, until his son saw both dogs bleeding in the backyard.
"I'm asking them, 'What should I do?' They're, like, 'Well, we're basically just here for the report of people breaking in. Yeah, we shot your dogs, but we don't know specifically what to tell you,'" Allen said of his conversation with police.
Allen said he brought both dogs to an emergency clinic, where they were treated and spent the night. One dog was shot in the leg, and the other was shot in the head, Allen said. Ace, the 14-month-old that was shot in the head, required a specialist.
"I'm not going to be able to give him the care he needs," Allen said, after medical costs were estimated to reach $15,000. Allen surrendered both dogs to BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions, he said, after being assured they would not be euthanized.
"I felt comfortable leaving then there because that's the best professional help I could get them, because they stated they would give them the surgeries they needed," Allen said.
Both dogs are being sent to a rescue group in New Jersey. It was a tough decision for their owner to make.
Still, Allen has questions about how the shooting occurred -- and why.
"Could have been handled a lot differently," he said.
Could the shooting have been prevented? Were the dogs shot before or after police called Allen? These are questions, Allen said, that have yet to be answered.
"A simple 'Hey man, your house has been broken into. We're trying to figure this out. I apologize. We went to the backyard. Had to shoot the dogs,'" Allen said.
Allen told KPRC2 he and his attorney are exploring his legal options.
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