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WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) — A police officer investigating a report of a home burglary mistakenly went to the wrong address and ended up killing a family's dog.
"I was in shock," said the dog's owner, Igor Vukobratovic. "I couldn't believe it. There was blood everywhere."
Police received a report of a possible break-in on Wednesday at a home in Wyckoff, about 30 miles from New York City. But Officer Kyle Ferreira went by mistake to house No. 622 instead of No. 621, Chief Benjamin 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 German shepherd lunged out the window, bit his foot and latched on, the chief said.
The officer fired his gun four times, striking the dog twice.
"He has every right to be prepared to defend himself," Fox told NJ.com. "Is a burglary suspect going to come out of that window? ... That dog can do a lot of physical damage to a person if the next bite is an artery."
Ferreira wasn't hurt, but Fox said he is "extremely distraught." He has not been disciplined, but police continue to investigate the shooting.
The family said it had the dog, Otto, for five years.
"He was a protective dog, but there were never any incidents of him attacking anyone," Vukobratovic said.
The family usually left the window open on warm days for the dog.
Vukobratovic returned from the mall with his cousins and saw the police at his home. Police explained what had happened.
He said he hugged his wounded dog and put it on a blanket to help carry it to a vehicle so it could be taken to a veterinarian.
The dog later was transferred to an animal hospital, where it died.
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