Police Officer Shoots Pit Bull; Sparks Petition

Published 08/26 2014 06:50PM

Updated 08/28 2014 09:54AM

SUNNYLAND - The death of a dog is angering many people.

East Peoria Police shot and killed that dog, Bella, an eight-year-old pit bull last week.

The dog allegedly attacked two people and charged at an officer.

Now more than 2,500 people have signed a petition demanding justice for the dog.

“She loved people. She loved attention. She was a really happy dog,” said dog owner Shane Ellis.

That’s how Shane Ellis described Bella, his pit bull that was shot and killed by an East Peoria Police officer August 21st.

He and a friend started a Facebook page and an online petition calling for an investigation of the shooting.

“I hope we get justice. Cause I do not think it's right.”

Police didn't want to talk about the issue on camera, but according to their report, here's what happened.

On the afternoon of August 21st an East Peoria officer responded to a call of two dogs running loose in the Quail Trail area.

The officer found two people- one limping and one bleeding from the leg- saying they were bit by a dog.

He was told both dogs belong to Ellis so he parked outside the owner's home and waited for animal control.

The two pit bulls returned as he was questioning one of the bite victims. They circled the officer before heading towards Ellis's home. That's when a neighbor, two doors up the road, walked out of his house and headed towards his car.

The Police Report says one of the dogs, Bella, started walking toward the neighbor.

After the officer yelled at the neighbor to "watch out" the dog turned toward the officer, growled and started running at him.

Bella got less than 10-yards from the officer when he fired those fatal shots.

“They just got a call and seen my dog and thought it was it.”

Ellis believes another neighbor’s pit bull was responsible for attacking two people, not his dog.

“I think it was a mistaken identity.”

But according to police reports, witnesses recognized Bella by a large tumor on her backside.

Ellis tells us he secures his dogs behind a chain linked fence.

“They do occasionally get out, but most generally I guess they’re put up," says another neighbor.

And whether it was Bella biting people or not, one neighbor just asks one thing

“To see my neighborhood safe. Whether it be from people or animals”

Ellis says he would also like Bella’s remains returned.

We spoke to the Tazewell County Animal control.

They say they are inspecting Bella for rabies and it’s their standard procedure to not return the dog when that happens.

The Police Report indicates that Ellis was cooperative with the officer after the incident. 


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