FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)– A Frederick County family’s dog is shot by sheriff’s deputies. Now, a jury awards that family more than half a million dollars in damages.

Derek Valcourt has more.

For a jury, there is nothing like seeing for yourself what happened. Luckily, most police cars are now equipped with cameras.

The dashboard camera reveals what happened in January 2010.

Chocolate Lab Brandi bounded toward a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy pulled a gun, Brandi stopped and appeared friendly. Then, the deputy shot her.

“It was terrifying. Very terrifying because it was like one of your kids being shot,” Sandra Jenkins, Brandi’s owner and the plaintiff in the case, said.

After Roger and Sandra Jenkins rushed to Brandi and then took her to a vet, the deputies headed into their home. They’d come to serve a warrant on the Jenkins’ son.

“You could have tased the dog, sprayed him, hit him with a baton,” Roger Jenkins said.

The Frederick County sheriff’s department maintained that Deputy Timothy Brooks acted legally, feeling that the dog was a threat.

“We’re going back now and trying to second guess a split-second decision in a situation where a sheriff’s deputy was trying to protect himself,” Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County said.

Brandi survived and began treatments for her gunshot. Roger and Sandra Jenkins hired an attorney and sued.

“The policy is, shoot the dog first and ask questions later. And that is not an acceptable policy,” Cary Hansel, the attorney for Roger and Sandra Jenkins, said.

The jury agreed, finding the deputies violated Roger and Sandra Jenkins’ rights when they entered their home without permission and when they shot Brandi.

The $620,000 verdict is bittersweet for Brandi’s owners.

“Dogs are not just pets anymore. They are part of our family,” Roger and Sandra Jenkins said.

Nine-year-old Brandi is still suffering from her shooting injuries. She walks with a limp and her family says it’s possible she could have her leg amputated.

Even though the sheriff’s department changed its deputy training for dealing with family pets, just last week a sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded another dog in the Frederick area.

Comments (12)
  1. yesiamacopswife says:

    Those BAD sherrifs!!!??? WHAT ok maybe the sheriffs do need to have remedial training in how to handle “family pets” but come on! Let the cops do their job! I am so sick of them having to worry about who they hurt and offend while serving and protecting the public. I think the half million dollar reward is outragous. I realize the dog owners may have been innocent as well as he dog BUt their son was not! How about sueing him for damages. Is not he the BAD guy here? Let the police do their job! How about giving te “grieving owners a million and the sheriffs a raise with the rest!

  2. Mike Brown says:

    The award was not outrageous if that dog was like a family member. I can only imagine the personal loss and pain they must have suffered as a result. There’s no excuse for shooting a dog unless he’s on top of you like a mountain lion and has you by the throat.

  3. SICK OF STUPID says:

    For me this is a sticky situation. Certainly that dog did not look threatening by any mean however, $620,000? I could understand awarding the family medical bills and future expenses but there is no way in gods green earth is this case worth $620,000. I love my animals and they are part of my family but that seems a bit much to me.

  4. Fedup says:

    If these people are that affraid of there jobs, they shouldn’t be cops. I hope they get every penny

  5. Ronnie Adams says:

    Woof Woof bad cop bad cop

  6. john says:

    So easy to judge us when you cant or wont do our job. So based of your comments lets take your small child and place him/her in the front yard with a dog, and make sure you dont call for help to shoot the dog until it has your childs throat in its mouth

  7. Mike says:

    That deputy needs to find another profession to be that paranoid to shoot down the family dog that was obviously no threat.

  8. chad says:

    I’m a police officer in Maryland and I would have never taken that shot. The dog wasnt even charging the deputy.

  9. Abner says:

    @”SICK OF STUPID”: You will see that $620,000 is not enough to deter future gratuitous slaying of family pets by law enforcement.

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