The north Minneapolis family whose two dogs were shot by a city police officer Saturday night has received an outpouring of support from animal lovers.
A GoFundMe account launched over the weekend blew past a $15,000 goal to help pay vet bills for the dogs, Ciroc and Rocko, both of which needed surgery after they were shot in owner Jennifer LeMay's backyard. As of Monday afternoon, the account had more than $21,000.
There's more on the way, and unlike those donations, it's actually coming from the party responsible: The Minneapolis Police Department. In a statement published Monday, police chief Janee Harteau said she found LeMay's surveillance video "difficult to watch."
The dogs' shooting was "an outcome that no one wanted," according to Harteau, who went on to say the department was extending financial support to LeMay.
"We are reaching out to the family," Hearteau said, "to help them with the veterinary care bills to ensure that both dogs are adequately taken care of."
Harteau's statement -- and the video -- stands in contrast to the report officer Michael Mays filed the night of the incident. In his initial write-up, Mays described finding "two large size pitbulls" in the family's backyard, the Star Tribune reports. (In fact, the dogs are Staffordshire terriers.) Mays wrote that the dogs "charged" him, at which point Mays "dispatched" the family pets.
LeMay has said the dogs are service dogs for one of her children, who suffers from anxiety and mental health issues.
Harteau's statement also says the department will undergo "updated mandatory training" to help prepare them with "tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters."
Said Harteau: "We want both our officers and all our community members to be safe."
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