A police officer investigating a report of a home burglary in northern New Jersey mistakenly went to the wrong address and ended up killing a family's dog.
"I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. There was blood everywhere," owner Igor Vukobratovic said of his beloved German shepherd Otto, who he had for five years.
Wyckoff police received a report of a possible break-in at 621 Lawlins Road on Wednesday.
Police Chief Benjamin Fox said officer Kyle Ferreira went to 622 Lawlins by mistake.
"He heard the wrong house number; he repeated back the number he thought he heard, nobody corrected him," Fox said.
No one answered the front door so the patrolman went around back, entered through an unlocked fence gate and spotted an open window, Fox said. He drew his revolver and approached, and a growling Otto lunged out the window, bit the officer's foot and latched on, the chief said.
The officer fired his gun four times, striking the dog twice.
Vukobratovic came home minutes later with his cousins from a trip to the mall.
"I saw him in the corner bleeding, looking at me," Vukobratovic said of the dog. "I couldn't do anything about it."
He said he hugged his wounded pet and put Otto on a blanket to help carry him to a vehicle so the dog could be taken to a veterinarian. The dog died shortly after being shot.
Vukobratovic told The Record newspaper Otto was a protective dog, but he had never attacked anyone. His father said the family hopes improved training and procedures on how to handle such situations with pets come from Otto's death.