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Pit Bull Mix Owner Says Sheriff's Dept. Not Justified in Killing Dog

Jimbo, a 2-year-old canine, was called "the sweetest" dog.

The owner of a dog who was killed by sheriff's deputies last weekend is seeking legal action and new policies after what she says was an unnecessary death.

The incident took place on Dec. 2 at the 15700 block of Brandiron Street when deputies were serving a warrant to 24-year-old Jared Smith for assault with a deadly weapon. Detective Lori-Ann Wells told Patch that deputies shot at the dog after it attacked, though no deputies were injured.

Smith's ex-girlfriend and co-owner of the dog, Brianna Fox, told Patch that the reports of an attack are false, saying that Jimbo, the 2-year-old pit bull mix, didn't even "take two steps" toward the officers.

"He didn't bark or anything," Fox told Patch. "He had a tennis ball in his mouth. It's not like he ran out."

Fox said the deputies told her they can't wait for "every dog to bite or lick," which is why they shot without hesitation.

According to Fox, Smith was inside a motorhome parked next to her house with a friend and the dog, Jimbo. She says she knew Smith, who was arrested on probable cause for the outstanding felony warrant, possession of a deadly weapon, spousal abuse and vandalism, was there and that the two raised the dog together.

"There was a huge helicopter flying close ot the house... so we all came outside," Fox said. "Jimbo stopped, looked at the officers and then back at Jared. And then they shot."

Fox's adoptive mother, Goldie Charlene Fox, who goes by Charlene, witnessed the whole thing.

"I got up and stuck my head out, opened the front door and to my right come two officers with shotguns, running as fast as they could," Charlene said. "The shots just blew him over."

Charlene told Patch that deputies ran onto the property from all directions without warning. Though she couldn't see Jimbo as he was being shot, she said he never barked or growled.

"It's an awful, awful thing," Charlene said. "I know they're doing their job, but they came in here like [Smith] was a mass murderer."

Charlene says she doesn't know who made a phone call to the sheriff's department to tip them off that Smith might be on her property. Detective Wells told Patch that deputies visited the home after receiving a call at 7:58 a.m. about a suspicious person.

Charlene said Jimbo didn't have an aggressive personality and was a "real character" that got along with her five dogs.

"That dog would've never charged. He was the sweetest... absolutely the best dog," she said.

Fox got Jimbo cremated, at the urging of Charlene.

"I took him to get cremated because he was not recognizable," Fox said. "The vet that examined him said that he got shot at least five times... and that he was not facing [the deputies] when he got shot."

What do the Foxes hope to get out of this? Charlene said she wants animals to be "treated fairly" and Fox said she wants to see the department policy changed in the course of all of this.

"I think it's completely appropriate to tranquilize a dog," Fox said, as opposed to shooting them to control situation. "Move them out of the way and move on to the suspect or whoever you're dealing with. It will save a bunch of lives and a bunch of heartbreak."

Patch put an inquiry in to the sheriff's department regarding their policy on handling dogs during these situations, but as of publication, has not received a response.

Fox wants to pursue legal action for tighter restrictions and compensation on Jimbo's cremation, but is having a hard time finding someone to be her ally.

"I'm trying," Fox said of finding a lawyer. "All of the attorneys that I've spoken to don't want to deal with it."

Editor's note: Pictures of Jimbo from the vet were posted to the original story here, but were deemed too graphic by the Ramona Patch editor and subsequently taken down.

Debbie Simpson December 11, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I agree completely!
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
@ Brianna, the photos that someone posted of Jimbo (apparently at the Vets office) shows a bullet wound in the front of his face on the right, and the back of the head shows an exit wound. I did not post the photos, it was a link provided HERE.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Jeff T, the pepper spray is the same stuff that the police carry. I bought it at a gun show. So if mine didn't work, the what the cops carry wont work either. No, it was not specifically formulated for dogs. I didnt know there was such a thing. However if I were a mailman, I would definitely carry it! Mine was for human protection, but I assumed when the Pitt Bull attacked me, it would have worked. I was shocked it didn't even phase him. I have never been so terrified in my life. Not even when robbed at gun point by a drugged out scumbag. Pitt Bulls are scary when they attack.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM
@ Revenge Jimbo, and like I said before - is there a big sign at the front of your property that says 'ALL GUNS ARE LOCKED AND SECURE IN A SAFE, DOGS ARE LEASHED SO DONT SHOOT'?? NO, because no one has that. Every office walking into a call knows it may be his last and he takes that into account in how he resonds. We all have been pulled over, we know they tell us to keep our hands in plain site on the steering wheel, etc. I am not making judgements on anything except the comments being posted here. I know what it feels like to be attacked by a pitbull, I also know someone who had to shoot one three times (even though the dog was hit all three times) to stop it. The only thing that stopped that pitt bull was the last bullet severed the spine. So SOME pitt bulls are attacking menaces to society. You think I would wait to find out which ones if it came at me?? Not after being attacked. My GUESS is the officer was in fear or he wouldnt have shot.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 07:46 PM
@ Brianna, I have no problem speaking my opinions to your face. I have stood up to thugs many times so dont think you intimidate me. I understand the loss of a dog, and for that I feel for you. However, I dont associate with wife beating felons, so you need to pick a better class of friends and then you wont bring this kind of tragedy on yourself. Who you associate with affects you.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 08:00 PM
@Jennifer - have you ever been attacked by a Pitt Bull? I have - and not a dog bite and release, full on viscous attack. No not all Pitt Bulls are bad, unfortunately there are too many BAD owners creating mean dogs. After being attacked, I wouldn't risk my life for the chance that its not going to attack me. If the owners cared about their dog, why didnt they put it away or at least grab its collar? We can sit back on Monday morning quarter back who made mistakes. This article and people are blaming the police. I am putting the blame back on them for not securing their pitt bull. If you want to own that breed, you need to understand the responsibilities it entails. They chose to do nothing, not put it away, not hold its collar and they wont accept blame for their mistakes in this. First and foremost THEY brought the police to their door by associating with a wife beating scumbag. The police would never have been their if they had a better class of friends. Here is who I feel sorry for and this order: the Deputy who felt he had to kill the dog, because my guess is he owns a dog and it is extremely hard on him, Brianna for her loss (even though she brought this scumbag to her home). She truly needs to pick a better class of boyfriend and I hope she presses charges against him for all of this, but she wont because there isnt any money in that, and THAT is what this is all about.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM
@Craig, never met him! :) But I am the other side of this argument. But being attacked by a pitt bull myself, I totaly understand the need to defend oneself. Oh and just remember, all it takes is ONE of me on your jury! Just got a jury summons for court and I get paid by my firm to participate! Remember that. If you think you can drum up sympathy for money, I will post all the time. If this wasnt just about having the shoot reviewed, I would have kept out of it. But when I saw the lawyer crap, I was done! Normally I wouldnt respond like this but I am fed up with being the silent people who sit back and shake their heads at people like this.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I would never have commented on this, as I believe the sheriffs will and do investigate all shootings. If the officer involved did anything wrong then he has to answer for that. BUT when you start bringing in the LAWYERS and you want MONEY, I am done.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Lizza, I am sure your sister is very proud! Lets see, you havent seen the police report yet you are passing judgement and slandering him by saying he is trigger happy. I hope he reads this article. being that you apparently are a lawyer, you know what the penatly is for that.
Brianna Fox December 11, 2012 at 08:39 PM
No one was aware the police were there, everyone came outside because there was a helicopter hovering extremely close to my house. If that answers your question.
Brianna Fox December 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
@ Jewels, you win. Happy now I am done arguing with you, I know the truth and that's good enough for me. You on the other hand must be a heartless cop yourself with no life since you're on here all day every day. I don't need to continue to defend my dog to you, seeing as you hate pitbulls anyways. You have completely chased me off this page with all your rude and offensive comments and your negative judging.
Jennifer December 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM
@ Jewels again. First off, no I have never been attacked by a pitbull or any dog for that matter. Second, Jimbo did not attack the deputies ( he had a tennis ball in his mouth) You never met Jimbo so you DO NOT get to judge him. Brianna Fox has said nothing about money only that she wants justice for Jimbo and something changed in the way law enforcement handles these situations. So, since bring up that you have been attacked by a dog let me ask you this, have you ever seen a dog you loved shot to death and covered in his own blood on a Sunday morning? NO!!!! you havent. So keep your heartless opinions to yourself. Also, the officers did change their story when Patch interviewed them. It went from "the dog attacked" to " the dog advanced" What in the world does that mean? It could have been any dog in the world, but he had to be a pitbull mix... so I guess that means he deserved it? I suppose that means that every white man is a racist? Or that every man on the street will rape you? or that every person who drinks, also drives drunk? STEREO TYPES are RIDICULOUS! I am done writing you, you are a waste of my energy and my time.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM
As I have said before, I am an accountant with the same firm for 14 years! I never asked you to defend your dog and I never said your dog did anything because I dont know the facts, and unfortunately you associate with wife beating felons so I am not taking the word of yourself, your family or other criminal friends. What I have talked about is what the officer might have felt was a threat. I never said I hated pitt bull and have I have said repeatedly, it is the OWNERS that create problem dogs. But if you are going to own a pitt bull, then you are responsible for securing your dog, regardless of whether or not it has bitten anyone - yet. If you want to own a breed that known for being aggressive and known for attacking without provocation, then you have to be the responsible party. You or someone in your household failed to secure your dog. I belive your comments have been rude and offensive as well as several others on here. But we are all entitled to our opinions ona PUBLIC website. This is not a personal website, or a personal article. The moment the news organization made it public, it was free for all of us to comment on. And for trolling scumbag lawyers! If this is only about your loss, then why are you talking to lawyers instead of the Sheriff about how to improve contacts with pitt bulls? I would be devastated about my loss, I would blame the scumbag who brough the police to my door, and I would be creating changes for how the police handle it in the future.
Jewels December 11, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Just as you have a right to your opinions, so do I. This is a PUBLIC news article and the PUBLIC gets to voice their opinions. I never said Jimbo deserved it, I said that the owners are responsible for their dog and should have secured him. I dont bring my dogs outside when I hear a helecopter over my house. If you are going to own a pitt bull, you have to think how other people perceive them. They are known for attacking unprovoked. If you want to be able to have people like your dog, get a lab! If you want to own a pitt bull, secure it. All of these people who have owned the attacking pitt bulls say 'my dog has never shown any sign of aggression'. That tells everyone else, these dogs are dangerous and unpredictable. That is a fact. No where in any of my posts did I say Jimbo attacked or didnt attack. No where in any of my posts did I blame Jimbo for what happened to him. I have even stated I that I understand Brianna's loss of her dog. But that does not change the fact that SOMEONE in that household should have secured him. Apparently you are not aware that you cant even live in an apartment building and own a pittbull. They are considered too dangerous. No matter how sweet Jimbo was, the problem is there are too many that arent.
Brianna Fox December 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I can't contact them because my computer won't let me email the way their web page is set up.
Brianna Fox December 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM
What makes you think I haven't contacted the police to talk to them. I have tried and they all refuse to talk to me about the situation. That's why I'm taking it further than them. And as for Jared, maybe you should read more facts before you start calling people wife beaters. I agree everyone has a right to their own opinion but not when they abuse it as you have through out this whole thread with the comments you've made.
phred87 December 12, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Everybody... Please stop feeding the troll.
Jewels December 12, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Brianna have you file a complaint? I know for a fact you can file an official complaint that is investigated. Also have you called the actual sheriff? Everyone has a boss. However if you and your friends are hiding anything it will come out. Which may be why that hasn't been done. Trolling for bottom feeding attorneys only tells the rest if us what kind if people you are. Those of us that actually want to make real change don't do it through attorneys. They only want money. But if you are nit suing the wife beating scumbag (according to this very article) it's because he has no money. That tells the rest if of us what this really about. I never heard in the article how you were going to work to give police a better alternative than shooting. Guess that wasn't what this is about.
Brianna Fox December 12, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Jewels enough already! You seriously have no idea what you're talking about and all your comments get sent straight to my phone and its begining to be too much to handle for me right now! Like I said earlier I tried to file a complaint I'm not an idiot at all and know which police station to call. Now You've made your point move the heck on!
Tiffany Fryer December 12, 2012 at 06:22 AM
@ Mathew.. You are absolutely right! people just dont get it, and obviously dont live in the real world of CORRUPTION !!! As we are dealing with the most corrupted courts around as we speak! RIVERSIDE!!! Our dog was shot in Lake Elsinore and trust and believe they have made us out to be these pieces of crap and made US the ones in the wrong!! Come on Jewels most (NOT ALL) but MOST of these crooked heartless cops are nothing more than street thugs with a badges that can will and DO anything they want and get away with it!
Helgaguillen Ramos December 12, 2012 at 08:52 AM
pit bulls are the most sufffering breed on the planet, jewels i feel sorry for you, you are heartless, cruel, without compassion. Shame on you, and shame on the polices officers who murder dogs.
Jennifer December 12, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Jewels, you are SO dang annoying. Wow. You really don't know anything. I did not plan on replying to any more of your BS comments but leave Brianna alone for goodness sake. You are by far the dumbest most inconsiderate person I have ever read from. I would like to give you a high five in the face with a chair! after reading what you just wrote... and the other crap replies you have sent. Brianna does not want money, has she ever said she does???? She wants change so no one else loses their dog this way. GET A DANG LIFE! You are a scumbag.
jack s December 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
So Jewels....you run a dog rescue but could not stop an attacking pitbull with mace? And the fact your dogs weren't killed by the police show you are lucky - it has nothing to do with whether or not you have a criminal record. I can put links to a dozen stories where the dogs were shot ON a leash or inside their fenced yard when the owners had the police come on their property to look for witnesses to local crimes, welfare checks, and for simply going to the wrong house. You are straight up full of shit - anyone who can run a dog rescue knows how to handle themselves when a dog attacks since they are working with RESCUE dogs prone to attack and neglect. I doubt you have ever been held at gunpoint... please, since the person was a scumbag give us his name since you would have had to testify at his trial or at least give an affidavit...I would like to look him up to make sure he has the criminal record you claim... oh, you don't remember his name, you didn't report it, blah blah blah.... stfu you have no clue what you are talking about. BTW, a vet goes through 8 years of college plus rotations and residency in most cases... how much college have you received on identifying bullet wounds in animals. PS: shotguns make totally different entry/exit wounds than pistols and rifles (IF there is an exit wound).
Jewels December 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I was going to stop, but as long as there are morons here who keep posting, I will reply. First, your mother forgot to tell you not to air your dirty laundry in public. Had you wanted your life not up for comment, then you should have kept it private instead of calling the news and asking them to invade your privacy and getting the public to reply. Secondly, we all get these coming through on our phones! For filing a complaint, ask for the sergent and state that you want to make a citizen complaint. If you cant get anywhere, ask for the LT. Go up the chain of command.
Jewels December 12, 2012 at 10:33 PM
@ Jack S - you need to learn to READ. Yes, I was able to defend myself (as I stated in my post) and my dogs by kicking the pitt in the head and throat and my shepherd bit back. And no, not ALL breed are aggressive. Mine is a family friendly sweet loving pointer breed and they dont attack us! As for being robbed at gun point, yes I was and I filed a police report and so did the company I worked for did too since it was their money they lost, as well as my five co-workers who where their at the time. Since it was 30 years ago, no I do not remember the name and it has not bearing on this. But I am sure you can google it: Taco Bell in Tustin Robbed at gun point. I was a 18 and the Asst Store Manager.
Jewels December 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM
@ Tiffany, I disagree that MOST of our cops are bad. I am not saying their arent any, but most of them are good. There are bad apples in every line of work, mine, yours, the catholic church, and yes occasionally even in law enforcement. I never said there isnt. However you cannot go around claiming someone is when you dont know they are. If he is guilty of something, they will deal with him. It is why I said she needs to file a complaint!
Jewels December 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM
@ Jennifer, really because I saw a post from her stating she tried to contact one and it wouldnt go through. This is a PUBLIC page, for all to see. I had decided after her comments I wouldnt reply either, but you people just keep going. I am not the wife beating felon scumbag who brought all this on. Had he done what he was required to do, this never would have happened and Briannas dog would be alive today. I dont have to agree with your opinion and you dont have to agree with mine. That is what makes this America. But on a public site, we are all free to post our views.
Whisky Foxtrot December 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Is it police policy to take out any loose dogs that may be on a scene, just in case they might cause trouble?
LookAtYourself December 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
@Jewels You seem to keep posting plenty of BS so does that make you a moron?.
JusticeOverAll December 13, 2012 at 01:55 AM
@Jewels The POINT is Jewels!. That could have been anybodies dog on their land at any given time. Does that give these cops a right to shoot their dog?. Hell no!.

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