Justice for Nala, shot by police

On the night of March 17th, the police responded to a dangerous incident near my apartment building. A police officer insisted that I come outside to point out where the incident had taken place- asking me to place myself in harm’s way.

The police knocked on my door to get me to come out to point to a location that I had already described on the phone multiple times. I didn’t feel safe stepping outside.

As I stepped out my door, my dog Nala inadvertently followed behind me before I could close the door.  My dog Nala is the sweetest, most gentle, and docile dog. Without provocation, an officer immediately upon seeing Nala, who was not threatening her in any way, pulled her gun and shot my dog at least twice.  

She aimed for Nala’s head and Nala’s heart. Nala ran off after being shot in the head area. I was convinced Nala had just been murdered in front of my eyes. I had an understandably emotional reaction. I'm lucky to be alive. 

My sweet dog ran off to the pond behind my house to die.  My neighbors all came out and were shocked to learn that Nala, well known to them as a sweet dog, had just been shot by police for no reason.  The police offered me no effective assistance and it was my neighbors who helped me care for my dog.  In fact, the officers prevented me and a Good Samaritan from leaving with Nala for 20 minutes as I was desperately trying to get her to the emergency vet hospital. I feared my dog would die on the way to the hospital due to the delay. 

When we were finally allowed to go to the emergency vet, they demanded $3,000 immediately, or they would not save my dog. Nala was bleeding from multiple wounds and they were demanding money I didn’t have. The police department refused to take any responsibility. I had to borrow money from my widowed mother who lives on a fixed income to save Nala’s life. 

The officer’s shooting of Nala was so reckless that one of her bullets hit a person on the scene. I am convinced that the reckless cop who unlawfully shot my dog would have shot me as well had it not been for the protection of divine intervention.  My contacts with the police department to seek answers have been frustrating.  I have yet to be given the name of the cop who shot my dog because it is part of an Internal Affairs investigation. 

I was not the suspect.  In fact, I was the one who called in to report what I thought was a dangerous situation for myself and neighbors.  In return, the police recklessly and heartlessly shot my dog for no reason.  Nala now requires significant and ongoing medical care. The possibility of infection and other life-threatening complications are real. I have not been back to work since this incident as I deal with daily vet visits, vigilant wound management, and Nala’s constant care. This event is a life-changing injustice. 

Against all odds, Nala is alive. It feels like a miracle. Anything you can do to help me pay for her ongoing vet bills, and help Nala and I and navigate the difficult road ahead toward healing and justice will be very appreciated.
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Rachel Robledo 
Tampa, FL