One year later, dog shot by Chicago cop struggles to recover - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

One year later, dog shot by Chicago cop struggles to recover

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a year ago that the owners of puppy named Colonel told FOX 32 News how a Chicago police officer had shot and wounded their dog, while in the process of writing a parking ticket.

Since then, the case has been working its way through the courts. The Colonel's owners say he's not the same dog he was before the shooting. He is still playful and friendly, but he's a little skittish with strangers, and he no longer resembles the typical miniature Bull Terrier.

At first glance, Colonel Phillips appears to be doing just fine, a year after being shot by a Chicago police officer. But look a little closer and you notice lots of spots. They're visible because his hair has stopped growing. Vets say it's probably due to trauma. He's now looks like combination Bull Terrier and Dalmatian.

"Everyone at the vet calls him a "bullmation," because his hair stopped growing," says the dog's owner Morgan Phillip. "After they shaved his stomach, and it didn't fully grow in completely on his back."

Last December, Al Phillips, came out of his home to see why an officer was writing him a parking ticket. The 7-month-old puppy followed, and Officer Gregory Pettigrew, shot the dog, twice. Five hours of surgery was needed to save the Colonel's life. Witnesses said the dog was not threatening Officer Pettigrew.

After a hearing earlier this year, the officer ran when FOX 32's Larry Yellen tried to ask him about the case. In court records, he "denies that the incident ... involved a senseless act of violence."

The Independent Police Review Authority is still investigating whether the shooting was justified.

"It's gone awfully, awfully, slowly," Al Phillips says. "Obviously, there are important issues in the city, but this is an issue and it's should have been dealt with much more efficiently, I had thought."

 

Al Phillips was ticketed for having his dog off leash. That ticket was tossed out. His lawsuit against the city is still pending and his claim of excessive force was dismissed. But claims for illegal seizure and emotional distress remain. The Colonel's had some emotional issues too, coping with loud noises and strangers.

Over the last year, the Colonel has received messages from all over the world.

"It was touching," Morgan says. "So many people were concerned, and wanted to know how he was doing."

"In fact, somebody in Colorado wrote a song about him," Al adds. "A folk song about the Colonel."

The Colonel also has a new playmate: a Saint Bernard puppy named the Lieutenant.

"Right now, they're about the same size, but it won't be that way for very long," Morgan says, describing the Lieutenant. "So Colonel's very protective of him, it's cute."

One of the allegations in the Phillips' lawsuit is that two police officers showed up and ticketed the dog's owners only after they saw the owners talking to me on their front porch. In court records, a sergeant and a lieutenant have admitted talking to the owners about the news media, but they deny warning the family they'd better keep quiet about the incident.

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