Updated: Brutality Charged as Berkeley Police Shoot Pet Dog

By Becky O'Malley
Saturday April 02, 2011 - 11:14:00 PM
Rock (nicknamed Big Baby)
Rock (nicknamed Big Baby)
Sean and Rock
Sean and Rock

The Planet at 9:21 on Saturday night received an email from Zviki ben Yishay, who lives in Los Angeles, alleging that Berkeley police officers shot and killed a pet dog belonging to his brother, who lives on Shattuck Avenue in South Berkeley. This is what he wrote: 


“hi my name is zviki and i would like to bring to your attention a case of police brutality in the city of Berkley California. earlier today my younger brother Sean age 25 was at home at shattuck Ave, Berkley ------ he and his friends were playing around with their toy airsoft pistol... after about half an hour 4 police squad cars stooped in front of the house and 5 police men charged his home with loaded M16.
they came from the windows back and front everyone in the house including my brother did not resist arrest and they were very cooperative and they told the officers right away that they have a dog in the house and that they want to put him on a leash so that they wont feel frighten by him.
The police men cuffed everyone in the house including my brother Sean and his 3 friends who were also there. after about half an hour that they talked and the police men understood that there is no danger they took my brother our of the house and while he was walked he begged the officer to let him put a leash on the dog in another room so nothing would happen to the dog. the officer told him that he has nothing to worry about and that he will not hurt the dog.
each of them as they were walked out of the house said to officer to please not hurt the dog and to let them put hum on a leash but the police man didn't listen and just puled them out of the house. after they took all 4 of the outside the fence of the house a couple of them went back into the house, after about a minute they herd a shot! 

they shot the dog in the head! 

my brother started scream asking to know what happened. 

the officers help him and his friend back and after 5 minutes he saw the officers coming out of the house with a black bag. 

the bag broke and his beloved dog fell out head first hitting the ground and blood was gushing out of his head. 

the picked him up and placed him in one of the squad car. 

the officers told him to calm down and that he is lucky that they are not charging him with a misdemeanor offence. 

they didn't give him their names or badge numbers and left. 

my brother is broken his heart is totally shattered he loved his dog Rock who was a very happy and had a greaet friendly personality, he loved that dog and he was his best friend. 

maybe you can look into this and maybe this wont happen again to some one else. 

thous police men did this act with intent. 

we filed a complaint with the police and will definitely try to file law suit for unneeded police brutality and murder of his beloved dog Rock may he rest in peace 

my brother Sean lives in 3204 Shattuck Ave, Berkley CA 94705 

phone number [withheld]. 

please investigate so those bad police men wont walk free and will be punished for their brutal unneeded force use on a defenseless dog.” 

thank you 



In a telephone call his brother, Shay (Sean) ben Yishay, confirmed the story. He told me that he and the three others with him had purchased an Airsoft air pistol at Big 5 Sporting Goods after being told that it was legal for them to fire it in their back yard. 

He said that he and one of the other young men are familiar with weapons because they are veterans of the Israel Defense Force (as is his brother Zviki), which is why they recognized the weapons the Berkeley police officers were using. 

He said that he and his companions had not been charged with any offense. 

He told me that his locksmith business, Rock-a-Lock, was named for his beloved dog, Rock (nicknamed Big Baby). As he told me this, he seemed to be crying. 

A call to the Berkeley Police Department dispatcher on Saturday night confirmed that officers had indeed answered a call at 3204 Shattuck at the time reported in Zviki’s email. I asked if there was anyone in the Berkeley Police Department who would like to comment on the dog being killed, and was told that the incident had just been reported and that no one was available to comment. However, a televised report with comments from Berkeley police was broadcast soon thereafter. 

The BPD information officer is off duty on weekends. A message left with the BPD dispatcher for the watch commander on Saturday night has not been returned. 

The email from Zviki ben Yishay was forwarded to Anne Wagley, the chair of the Berkeley Animal Care Commission (formerly the Humane Commission.) for comment. 

“It’s beyond outrageous—it’s completely inexcusable behavior, especially since the owner offered to put his dog on a leash,” she said.